Chasing Eden Review

Hey Happy Bookworms!

So, I’m thinking about starting ARC reviews on other days so I’m adding to my posting schedule? But I only want to give full reviews to books I love so I’m not sure how many I’d do in the end but that’s the potential plan right now…

Anyway! I got a copy of Chasing Eden: A memoir from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion 🙂 And this is my review…

BTW: This is more spoilery than I’d normally post but I think with non-fiction it’s not as important to be spoiler free? (Tell me if you guys agree) I’ve still been careful with what I wrote though & there’s still so much in the book that I didn’t touch on.

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Cherilyn is her mother’s right-hand helper who cleans house and takes care of her younger siblings, while she dreams of going to school and making friends. All she wants is the love of her parents, and the privilege to be herself—but it seems these goals are at odds with each other.

When she wakes up in an abandoned sawmill, her family drifts from town to town, following her father’s elusive dream of seeking the perfect place to prepare for the end of the world. As they move deeper into the woods and a life of isolation, her mother declares they must put their lives on hold until they can live like “normal” people.

As Cherilyn negotiates her way through a childhood of religious contradictions, a shameful secret holds her hostage with the fear that she might never be normal enough to live in society.

Chasing Eden is the TRUE story of a girl whose superpowers will ultimately set her free—if only she can find the courage to use them.

“I’m afraid if you don’t stop obsessing over school,
you’re going to become mentally ill.”

I’m not normally one for an autobiography/biography but after reading Shoebox funeral & actually really enjoying it, I decided to give this book a chance. And I’m so happy I did!

Cherilyn’s life is largely controlled by religion enforced by her parents, as a result of this we see her moving to religious neighbourhoods & communities, getting more & more extreme as time goes on. This was all so interesting to me as a girl who’s never moved & wasn’t brought up under any religion and I was quickly fascinated with all of Cherie’s living arrangements and the different environments she was put in. Particularly when they lived in an almost self-sufficient community where their school life was a work/study course. And no, that doesn’t mean real-life experience, it means child labour.

Speaking of school, Cherie only got a 6th grade education, while some of her siblings only made it to the 1st before their parents pulled them out of official school because it was too ‘worldly’. Cherie constantly pleaded her dad for home-school books only to be met with the quote above.

“While some parents were fighting to get their kids to stay in school, I was fighting mine for the opportunity to go to school.”

As for her father, well he’s a fictional morally grey character in real life. Honestly! He’s so hard to understand but I must say that my verdict definitely rules that I’m not a fan. He’s constantly in debt to people, including Cherie but he refuses to get a real job, instead insisting on fixing up old cars and then diving hours into the city to try & sell them. Although their are some genuinely touching & heart breaking moments from her father, particularly at the end! 😭

Throughout it all, you just have to keep reminding yourself that these are all real people and that all of this really happened.
I think this book was just fascinating. It’s so well told & shows so much character progress that it reads just like a fictional story. So, if you’re thinking of starting to explore (auto)biographies or if you’re really interested in extremer parts of religion then this is 100% worth a read.

“There’s so much we never got to say–conversations and dreams we never got to finish–all locked up inside the hope chest of my heart.”

Sorry if this review wasn’t as funny as my normal posts or if it just wasn’t very good, I haven’t written a full review in awhile but I really wanted to share this book with you guys as it’s not very well-known but totally should be!

What did you think? Have I convinced you to read it?


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6 thoughts on “Chasing Eden Review

  1. Aditi says:

    I agree that you don’t need to be as spoiler conscious BUT beware! Don’t be too lenient or the spoiler cuckoo will haunt you!! 🐣🐣🐣
    Okayyy the family sounds psycho?? What is wrong with them..? But wow Cherie sounds so persistent and go gurl 🦁
    I feel so bad for her 😣 and the poor siblings. This book sounds so good! Is it from Netgalley?

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      Omg true! We must watch our backs all the time! 😂
      I know! I felt so bad for Cherie the whole way though – it’s weird thinking a real person went through that!
      Yep! And the ‘read now’ section too so I didn’t even have to wait to be approved 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sophie @ Me and Ink says:

    This sounds like a very interesting and raw book. I think when you know it is true, the story can give off an entirely different feel and the emotion can feel so much stronger. I’m glad this was written well and you enjoyed it. I’m not one for autobiographies but I might give this one a go as it sounds like a powerful story.
    (I know what you mean, with non-fiction I feel like I don’t mind spoilers either as you’re not reading it for a surprise but the journey if that makes sense 😂)
    Great review!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • El says:

      You should totally give it a go! It was told just like a story so you shouldn’t find it too different from what you read!
      Yes! I’m glad someone agrees 😂 I was worried people would be annoyed at any potential spoilers but I totally agree with you – it’s all about the journey!
      Thank you so much 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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