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It is the hot prairie summer of her twelfth year and Elsie is at a crossroads. Her beloved mother who is mentally ill has been hospitalized, and Elsie thinks that the breakdown is all her fault. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Almost Eden , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 29, Colleen rated it really liked it.

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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't help but give this book 5 stars. I do agree that is was a well written book, but I also have to admit that I found myself wishing I had the words to write like that Our main character, Elise, is a 12 year girl from a Mennonite family, which I've inferred to be a deeply religious culture.

Elise is the middle child, and her older sister, Beth, takes on a motherly role to her I can't help but give this book 5 stars. Elise is the middle child, and her older sister, Beth, takes on a motherly role to her and her younger sister, Lena. Their mother is in Eden, a mental hospital to help the mother's depression. The father is a loving father, but like most, not very open to conversation about anything too personal. While Elise spends her summer wondering about her mother and God's hand in it all, she starts to distance herself from her friends.

Elise and her family at home go through some pretty normal ups and downs, but she tends to put some guilt on herself when things aren't going as planned. She seems to become so overwhelmed with emotion that she herself has a difficult time talking about anything too personal. As a reader, though, you are provided with some insight into the conversations she wishes she could have when you read her prayers to God.

Too many unanswered prayers to God and unanswered questions lead Elise to believe that he doesn't exist. That is, until she feels his peace and protection one night when she needs it most. Though a series of events, Elise eventually tells her friends what is going on with her mother. Her friends graciously show support and help her to plan out an adventure of escape so that she can show her Mother what it's like to feel God's existence.

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As her mother says, "When the heart is full, the mouth overfloweth. Despite there being unanswered prayers and unanswered questions about the ills of the world, Elise comes to the conclusion that God really does exist.

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Some see him in different ways, feel him in different ways, and even talk about him differently. She may not know which is the way she sees Him, but she believes His existence is real and present. Jan 18, Thea Diepen rated it it was amazing.

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My mom comes from a Mennonite background, and I've always felt rather close to Mennonite culture, so when I found this book randomly at Chapters, I bought it on sight. Heber C. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, , p. Other early leaders have given the same information. This is especially true for the periods when he did not have a scribe to keep a record of his daily activities.

His and trips to Missouri fit into this category. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns about 3, acres in this rural valley, most of which it rents to farmers. Farmhouses sit off long gravel driveways along the country road. Barbed wire connects the fence posts, which are painted white for purity along the roadside. Cattle graze in the barren fields. Trees blossom. The elders at Adam-ondi-Ahman are skittish and tight-lipped. One, who asked to remain anonymous, tells me the church stresses that the job at hand is to beautify and maintain Adam-ondi-Ahman, not to publicize or talk to the press.

Not that publicity is necessary; as I arrive, a tour bus idles near the entrance and tourists snap photos of the giant sign pointing toward the Mormon holy ground. I'm here to meet an elder for a guided tour. But when I ring the bell at his home, he hasn't returned from his dental appointment.

Instead, his wife gives me a couple of printouts about Adam-ondi-Ahman's history. I take the information and begin my search for Adam and his lost stone altar, upon which, Joseph Smith claimed, Adam had offered sacrifices to God. The gravel road horseshoes around Adam-ondi-Ahman. I begin my search at Tower Hill Valley Overlook. I start walking on a trail toward the overlook when a pickup truck parks next to my car. It's the elder, who starts grumbling about "chiggers and ticks. The elder and his wife are one of 11 retired missionary couples who have agreed to care for Adam-ondi-Ahman over the summer.

About seven weeks ago, the valley was flooded with 10 feet of water, he says. The water has since receded, leaving an opulent green pasture. It looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting. The elder leads me down a rocky path toward a jagged horizontal boulder. This is "The Preacher's Rock," so named because Mormons used to stand on the rock to proselytize to those in the lower valley.

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The elder leads me to a square stone buried in a mound of dirt. He says it was likely a Nephite altar. I ask him about Adam's altar and show him a photo I found on the Internet of a man standing behind a tree surrounded by stones. The elder cracks up when he sees the photo. He says the farmers near Adam-ondi-Ahman joke that they dump their rocks here and Mormons swipe them because they think they're sacred stones.

The elder asks what sparked my interest in Adam-ondi-Ahman. I explain that I'm looking for the Garden of Eden because of Mitt Romney's candidacy for the presidency. The elder likes Romney, says he'd be good for the country, though he's not political enough to win the White House.

ISBN 13: 9780446363723

After that, he leaves me to explore the rest of Adam-ondi-Ahman alone. I drive to the other lookout.


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There's no one there. It's serene.


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Birds chirp. Bugs whiz past my head. I see an eagle soaring in the distance. I feel at peace with the place. Then frustration begins to creep in. I'm no closer to the Garden of Eden. Adam isn't here. Neither is his altar. Elder Poll hopes that Adam will come back to reveal where he ate the apple. The Search for the Garden of Eden. Justin Kendall. Sep 6, 4 AM.

The City of Zion is also known as Independence, Missouri. His quest for the White House inspired my journey. Before I know it, I'm in a dark room watching a video about Joseph Smith's life. I feel a little on the spot. She asks me to read a couple of chapters in The Book of Mormon tonight.

I ask Sister Mendoza if there is a specific site for it. I return their call a day later. I'm sorry. I tell her that I'm a writer with the Pitch. I explain my own mission: to find the Garden of Eden. Clearly, a full-scale marketing campaign is under way for my soul. He goes on. I sit in the grass among the trees and wait for the goose bumps that just won't come. Who's looking out for Swope Park? Kansas City election recap: Lucas wins, incentives cap loses, and a new city council on the way.

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