Teenage Jacob has grown up in Nodd as a member of a cult. There is a fence around Nodd to separate them from the rest of world and one of Jacob’s duties is to patrol the fence. That’s how he meets Lynna, a girl who lives on the property abutting Nodd. Through Lynna along with a new cult member named Tobias, Jacob begins to have his eyes opened.
In Eden West, Pete Hautman provides an interesting perspective on cults by making a boy who knows no other life the narrator and juxtaposing him with two teenage outsiders. There’s plenty of symbolism and great moments such as the discoveries about the sacred tree. While the story was sometimes bogged down in redundant descriptions, those descriptions did create a sense of Jacob’s unfamiliar world.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Candlewick Press.