If only I had never opened that letter…and let the devil in
Meredith Hathaway has spent the last seventeen years pretending to forget. Until she gets a letter and her world is shattered in an instant. She must finally confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway dynasty…and her own part in their devastating history.
One woman is determined to change her fate. With unwavering ambition Lavinia Hathaway will stop at nothing to ensure that her family succeeds at all costs. Now Lavinia’s legacy Aurelia, the once magnificent family home, lies empty, a husk of its former self, a gaping wound of the Hathaways. Unable to resist the lure of buried secrets and bitter memories, Meredith must now face the truth or be destroyed by it. The door is open…dare she walk into the past?
‘A novel with a gothic feel that is full of fascinating detail and a great sense of place and one that I can’t recommend highly enough. It is wonderfully plotted and paced and a complete pleasure to read.’ - The Daily Mail
About the author
Nelle Davy was raised in London, England, in an Afro-Caribbean household. She is an undergraduate of Warwick University and has a master's degree from Trinity College Dublin in creative writing. She is married and still lives in London, where she works in publishing. The Legacy of Eden is her first novel.
Davy's melodramatic debut traces the rise and fall of Aurelia, an Iowa farm where the Hathaway family enjoyed financial prosperity and suffered personal ruin. Meredith Pincetti, n e Hathaway, returns to Aurelia long after it's gone fallow (to exorcise her family's ghosts) and recounts the legacy of her spiteful grandmother Lavinia, who engineered the farm's spectacular ascension and the family's explosive disunion. "Rotten seeds make diseased trees," Lavinia once said, describing a fate she set in motion with her scandalous marriage to Cal Senior. Lavinia pledges her loyalty to Aurelia by ritually spilling her blood on its soil, and has her children and grandchildren do the same, yet her cold-blooded mind games lead them to desecrate the land with stunning acts of malice, depravity, and destruction. Rage drives Cal Senior, his son, and his grandson to drunken violence, while Lavinia, her stepdaughter, and her granddaughters channel their anger into emotional treachery. Despite the novel's clumsy expositions, Davy's characters are lively and engaging. However, given that the Hathaway men's brutality is pardoned, while the women's emotional transgressions can't be forgiven, the novel's moral universe proves troubling.