illustrates how between only two or three generations in one family, so much can stay the same, while a great degree of change is imposed by the outside world. In the years between 1920 and 2000, so much changed in the United States. There were enormous industrial and technological advancements, economic shifts, and the impact of world wars. Eden
shines a spotlight on the additional changes women faced. My characters, women from the same family, have lives that span a century and experience extremely different education and career opportunities, and especially different choices when it came to their reproductive rights. Each mother wistfully observed the freedoms her daughter enjoyed.
The book’s earliest matriarch is Sadie. She is married and in search of effective birth control in the early part of the 20th century, inspired by the contraceptive pioneer, Margaret Sanger. She is not successful and has a late in life pregnancy that she is unhappy about. Her daughter, Becca, is raped, although given the era in which she lived, is not equipped with the awareness nor vocabulary to call it such, and becomes pregnant. The only option Sadie will consider for her daughter, is to send her away to a maternity hospital under a veil of secrecy. Becca’s daughter, Rachel, is impregnated by her college boyfriend, and Becca and Dan coerce the young couple to do the “honorable thing” and marry. And modern day, Sarah, with almost no societal pressure at all to worry about, entertains the option of being a single mother.