Barely out of college, Isaac trades the quiet of his family ranch for the excitement of the big city with his dream job at an up-and-coming advertising agency. Until his perfect new world is shattered by bad choices, a pretty girl, a moment’s temptation—and a late night walk that quickly spirals out of control. Reeling with the horror of a mistake that can’t be undone, Isaac struggles to get his soul in order. Can he forgive himself? Can he make things right with God? What about Rebecca?
With both their lives desperately upended, and life-changing consequences no matter what they choose, Isaac must face his painful past, finding strength from God to do the right thing . . . and somehow convince Rebecca to do the same.
“You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, so wonderfully You made me; wonderful are Your works! my very self You knew; my bones were not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.”
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“FOR EDEN’S SAKE is a fast yet compelling read; touching every heart and mind with hope for what matters most; God’s redeeming love and grace.”
(Evangelist Alveda C. King, Civil Rights for The Unborn)
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“What’s the biggest, most consequential, bad decision you’ve made? How did the process of facing its consequences change you? A wonderful new young adult novel, For Eden’s Sake, takes us inside the lives of one young man and one young woman who must figure out what they’re going to do in the wake of an enormous mistake that neither of them even saw coming. It’s a well-written, well-paced story with compelling characters who I grew to care very much about.
It’s also an amazingly quick read; once I got a couple of chapters into the story, I found it very difficult to stop. I started it one afternoon, while taking a break for lunch. That evening, I picked it up again with the intention of reading just a little more while I built up time on the DVR for a television program. Within minutes, I’d forgotten the TV program entirely. I didn’t put the book down again until I finished it…
…it’s that process of being creative and “finding a way” — rather than immediately tossing everything into the discard pile and walking away — that can bring so much meaning and true satisfaction in life. This piece of wisdom can be difficult for a parent to sit down and explain to a teen who is on the cusp of adulthood. Rather than trying to “explain,” For Eden’s Sake brings this wisdom to life through the actions of relate-able and compelling characters, allowing the reader to experience it along with them. That, for me, is fiction at its best.” (Read full review by Christopher Blunt, author of Full Cycle)
“One of this year’s newest Catholic YA novels is difficult to describe. I want to make this a simple review, but there’s too much to think about. It’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s hopeful, it’s true.
The story begins with Isaac, a young man of faith and conviction, letting go of his inhibitions and drinking too much at a work event. He makes some bad decisions and because of this ends up getting a girl he hardly knows pregnant. This young woman, Rebecca, decides that she is not going to keep the baby and asks for money from Isaac for an abortion. From here the emotions fly on both ends as they fight over the life of this unplanned child. It’s a simple plot, but the emotions behind the actions and decisions of the characters is what really moves the readers.
What is Beautiful
I’m old enough now where I’m able to look at the parents of Isaac and feel their pain and disappointment in the actions of their son. He has done something stupid. He has sinned, and his sin has caused a difficult situation not only for him, but for a girl he hardly knows. He is now connected to this girl whether he wants to be or not.
I felt the tension in the room as Isaac told his father what he had done and I felt for both of them, but the reaction of his father is one that I feel most parents SHOULD hope to have. His mother the next morning is describes has having disappointment in her eyes despite the smile on her face as she makes breakfast for her son.
The beauty here is that Isaac has wonderful parents, but also, this is how I would imagine God would respond to a confession of sin. Disappointment, sadness, and yet love that permeates the frustration. Isaac’s parents react in the image and likeness of God…and THAT is beautiful.
More beauty comes from the growth of the character of Rebecca. She grows from wanting to rid herself of this child to wanting the baby. The slow evolution of her change shows what many mothers feel. An unplanned pregnancy can be devastating for a woman, but as that child grows and develops, they can be such a blessing for that mother. A mother’s love is like nothing else…and THAT is beautiful.
And in this world we hear about men who want no responsibility for the children they create. Not Isaac. His faith and conviction remain. He will take the unwanted baby and make amends for his wrongs…and that is beautiful.
What is Sad
The sin itself is sad, the disappointment Isaac feels in himself is sad, but the nonchalant desire to kill the child is devastating. Rebecca, who is clearly taking cues from others, has no qualms about killing her child. She is disgusted by Isaac (who unquestionably does not react with kindness to her initially) and leaves when he begins to pressure her to keep the baby.
We find Rebecca’s life is one of sadness and loneliness as her mother has died many years ago and her father seems to think she’s not worth much. Her father, in comparison to Isaac’s father, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Rebecca’s friend is also someone who should care for Rebecca, but as she Rebecca slowly changes her mind and decides to keep the baby, she becomes nastier and nastier. There seems to be so much sadness in Rebecca’s life coming from every direction.
What is Hopeful
Without giving too much away, the ending leaves us with a sense of hope for this “thrown together situation”. The author leaves the reader cheering for Isaac and Rebecca and their baby. There is hope for the young adults in our world. There is hope for a pro-life mindset. There is hope for us all.
What is True
Babies are babies from the moment of conception whether they were planned or not. Sin, no matter how much regret comes afterwards, can cause ripples that affect those we love, those we don’t love, and even those we many not know.
This book does an amazing job at explaining this to young people. One stupid night changes Isaac before he even finds out about the repercussions of his sin. BUT (and this is a big one) there is beauty that comes out of it all. Despite everything, there is new life and changed lives forever. God, in His greatness, does not leave us when we follow Him.
This book is undoubtedly so valuable for any young person to read, especially those who are beginning their dating lives. The male protagonist offers a new perspective to the “unwanted pregnancy” discussion in our culture and presents new topics of discussion for young people today.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s a quick read that will keep anyone on their toes. T.M. Gaouette has proven herself a wonderful YA author. Though I wish books like these had been around when I was younger, we are so blessed to have authors writing good Catholic books for us now. Catholic parents and Catholic schools everywhere should be encouraging their children to read her book.” (Visit Lit by the Tree for discussion questions and resources for this title by Beth Ruggiero)
“For Eden’s Sake by T. M. Gaouette is a pro-life story like I’ve never read before: DAD’s side of the story. By alternating points-of-view between pro-life Isaac and pro-choice Rebecca, Gaouette masterfully gives a voice to the often-ignored victims of abortion, the fathers. Sometimes seemingly ridiculous in his passionate beliefs, co-protagonist Isaac’s behavior, through Rebecca’s eyes, gives us a glimpse into the minds of the pro-choice contingent. True, we pro-lifers must seem similarly ridiculous at times. But as readers come to learn the story of these young adults, as well as Rebecca’s father, her angry roommate Tess, Isaac’s loving parents, and a mysterious stalker, I believe even the hardest of hearts will come to see why such passionate faith in Life is the only truth.
Even though the baby is conceived during a drunken one-night-stand, Issac is deeply regretful of his mistake and tries desperately to right his wrongs. As for Rebecca, there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. It is rare that a book moves me to tears. This one did it to me. It’s very compelling. The plot is suspenseful from the very beginning, and readers will wonder how God can ever fix the mess these two young adults have made. Gaouette has woven a truly creative and celebratory story. A pro-life blockbuster waiting to happen, For Eden’s Sake is a masterpiece and a must-read for every young adult.”
(Jean Schoonover-Egolf, author of the Molly McBride Series)
“What starts out as a careless night of drinking turns into a life-and-death situation. Isaac can’t undo his carelessness but he can do all in his power to prevent a young woman from making another mistake. For Eden’s Sake is a well-written and compelling story about the consequences of sin and the grace of redemption. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend!”
(Ellen Gable Hrkach, Award-Winning Author of the Charlotte’s Honor Series)
“Isaac made a mistake. A big one. And now he must face the consequences. This story does not make light of the effects of our choices, whether physical or spiritual. It goes deep into the emotional turmoil and suffering that follows bad choices, things that much of today’s young adult fiction downplays or ignores. Even though Isaac made a big mistake, I found him to be a strong character and a good role model as he strives to repair the damage and move forward on the right path. This is an excellent, pro-life story about getting up after you’ve fallen. It brings to light the themes that love is more than a feeling—it’s a sacrifice—and human life is valuable, and both are worth fighting for. The importance of faith-filled upbringing really comes through too.”
(Theresa Linden, author of the West Brothers Series)
“Author TM Gaouette’s collection of faith-affirming Catholic teen novels has a new addition, For Eden’s Sake. I’m impressed with how unique, and different all Gaouette’s books are, from her heart-warming middle-grade story, her exciting contemporary YA series, to this newly released powerful pro-life novel for older teens.
After a night he desperately wishes he could change, college graduate Isaac finds himself fighting for the life of his unborn child. While the characters are a little older, I think this is a fantastic book for teens to read with an important message. When our teens leave the protection of our homes and move on to college and the working world, they will probably find themselves in situations where they will need to defend their values and beliefs. Sadly, out in the real world, the foundation we teach our kids at home is often questioned, ridiculed, and attacked. It takes a strong person to hold true to Christian values.
I love the message that even when the decisions we make might throw our goals off track if we trust in God, we will get through any troubles. Even in the darkest of times, God has a plan for us. For Eden’s Sake is a powerful story about fighting for what is right, believing that God is with us even in the darkest of times, and trusting that He will get us through any situation. ”
(Leslea Wahl, author of award-winning novels The Perfect Blindside)
“I have been reading books by T.M. Gaouette for seven years now. And as each new book comes out, I am eager to read it. And the excitement builds until I get my hands on it. I have read her five novels and a few short stories that she has written. Every time I read something by her, I am more impressed. And as much as I love some of her other novels this is the most powerful and moving story she has written to date!
One of the things that I love about Gaouette’s writing is that she is a bold Christian writer, and she allows her deep faith to infuse her stories. This is not a novel by a Catholic author, it is a Catholic story. And some might not make that distinction, but I think it is an important one. But I will be honest this was at times not an easy read. The suspense was high, and at stake was an unborn child’s life.
Isaac was raised on a family ranch farm. But after graduating college he and his best friend have moved to the city. Isaac is working a dream job in an advertising agency. One night while out with the guys from work, he has a few too many to drink, and ends up going home with a pretty girl. After that night he has much regret and even goes to confession the next day. He attempts many times to reach out to the girl for weeks. Till one day Rebecca calls out of the blue. But her news is not what he expected, and it leaves him reeling. Isaac must find a way to forgive himself and to do the right thing. He also needs to find a way to convince Rebecca to do the same.
They both have a lot on the line, and both have a lot to lose. Isaac at times can only pray. He has no other options left. And in that prayer, he might find the strength he needs.
This story is written with a more mature Young Adult audience in mind. It is at times very raw. It is riveting. For those of us who are older, it might remind us of some of the mistakes we ourselves made in our youth. Mistakes we would like to help our children avoid. This is a fantastic read for young men and women. It would be excellent for a group study in the classroom, or youth group. Or even with our own children.
My first thoughts when I finished this story was, WOW! And then I found myself wondering where Isaac and Rebecca were in a year, 2, 5, or even 10. This is a powerful story, but also written with great sensitivity. If I had to categorise this book I would say first it is Christian fiction, second it is Young adult fiction, and third it is a prolife fiction. And 2 out of three might not be popular in our contemporary culture. But we need more stories like this. An incredibly moving read!”
(Steven McEvoy, BookReviewsandMore.ca)
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