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Eden Springs: a novella


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INSIIE TIE IIS1 HII1R1S rambling Victorian mansions, and
sprawling amusement park of the House of David in Benton Harbor, Michigan,
a scandal is brewing. A gravedigger has seen something suspicious in a recendy
buried casket; a loyal assistant to Benjamin Purnell, charismatic founder of die
colony, is plotting a cover-up; talk is swirling about unmarried girls having babies;
and a rebellious girl named Lena is ready to tell the trudi. Laura Kasischke unrav
els this delicious mystery in Eden Springs, with chapters framed by real newspa
per clippings, legal documents, and accounts of former colonists.
“Eden Springs is a page-turner of the highest literary quality. Part thrilling true-
crime drama, part heart-felt romance novel, part astonishing history lesson, part
enticing mystery, and totally satisfying high art, this short book is a masterpiece of
blended genre.” -ANTQNYA NELSON, author of Nothing Right
“Laura Kasischke is a brilliant guide to die bestiary of human desires and agitations. She
shows us die men, women, and girls of die House of David compound and creates a com
pelling vision beliind die white suits and fluttering dresses of diis fruit-picking, ticket
taking community of believers. I’m in love widi die buoyancy and energy of die story,
practically blinded by all that white and fluttering trouble.”
— BONNIE JO CAMPBELL, author of QRoad
and American Salvage (Wayne State University Press, 2009)
“Eden Springs is a remarkable re-imagining of a fascinating and little-known histori
cal episode. Kasischke brings the past to life in a series of vividly sensuous vignettes,
stitching them together like the panels of a quilt and gradually revealing a mysterious
and subde pattern.” —PETER HO DAVIES, author of The Welsh Girl
LAURA KASISCHKE is the author of seven collections of poetry, two nov
els for young adults, and five novels, including, most recently, In a Perfect World.
She was the 2009 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for poetry.
Cover photograph by Ulrike Leyens / Millennium Images, UK
Wayne State University Press
Detroit, Michigan 48201-1309