Review: Becoming Calder + Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Becoming Calder + Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan

My Thoughts

A striking story of love and survival.
Beautifully written, this unforgettable story touched me deeply and honestly, making it one of my most treasured reading experiences this year. It was perfect in every way.

6stars

becoming calder cover rev finding eden cover rev

Synopsis

There is a place in modern day America with no electricity, no plumbing, and no modern conveniences. In this place, there is no room for dreams, no space for self-expression, and no tolerance for ambition.

In this place, there is a boy with the body of a God and the heart of a warrior. He is strong and faithful and serves his family honorably. But he dares to dream of more.

In this place, there is a girl with the face of an angel and a heart full of courage. To her family, she is the vision of obedient perfection. But she dares to want that which she has been told can never be hers.

Becoming Calder is the story of good versus evil, fear versus bravery, and the truth that the light of love has always found its way into even the darkest of places… From the beginning of time, to the end of the world.

My Review

Not very often does a story come along that moves me as much as this one did. A story that consumes me, whose tendrils of raw emotion grip my heart in such a way that it’s hard to leave the story behind after the flip of the final page. This is that kind of story. A story overflowing with love. A story of resilience and survival. Hope amidst hopelessness. Clarity amidst chaos. Love amidst lies. I loved how Mia Sheridan was deftly able to weave such a multi-faceted, multi-stranded story. Ribbons of romance, suspense, mystery, sexiness, heartache, happiness, destiny and truth, all woven together to create a tale that grips and lingers.

Succinctly said, the story was beautiful.

“Where do you find your strength, Morning Glory?…”

“From you.”

When a young girl, blond and little, frightened, lips quivering, comes to arrive in Acadia, she is supposed to be a symbol of salvation. A mother to a group of believers. A wife to the community’s father, Hector. But she was simply a young girl afraid for the destiny thrust upon her. She caught the eye of a boy. A water bearer who had grown up in this place. A boy who was used to going without. A boy who worked hard and asked for nothing, despite the dreams that had begun to stir inside. Calder and Eden became unlikely friends. Forbidden friends. As no one was allowed to talk to Eden—Hector’s beloved—especially not a worker boy like him. Nonetheless, something tangible and irreversible took root and grew through the years. A friendship they depended on, a friendship that through the years grew into something beautiful, yet staunchly prohibited. An unbidden freedom when their lives were so carefully controlled and dictated.

“She was captivating, amazing. And gods help me, the seed of love that had taken root, the seed I had vowed not to nourish, started to grown anyway. I swore I could feel the velvety tendrils moving through me, wrapping around the vital parts of who I was. I was helpless to stop it. She had invaded me. I was the field and she was the morning glory.”

As I saw their love intensify, reluctantly at first, and then after some time, fearlessly and without abandon, I felt an ominous feeling pervade. I could feel the storm coming. The danger was all around them. Because in Acadia, Hector was dictator. He was judge and jury. Reward and punishment. And Eden was his. She was to be his wife on her eighteenth birthday.

“If I were just a boy, and you were just a girl, I wouldn’t kiss you once like you asked… Eden, I’d kiss you long, and I’d kiss you often.”

Both Eden and Calder lived very different lives, despite them living in the same place. They both struggled to belong. To restrain the dreams and questions that took flight. Calder dreamt of rising above, and after falling in love with Eden, about giving her freedom and protecting her from Hector. He longed to give her a future of happiness in a place of their own. Eden simply wanted to be loved, and Calder loved her so completely, so fiercely, from his very soul, just as she loved him.

“Eden, I vow this. My heart is yours. My life is yours. My body is yours. My art, my dreams. You own each and every part of me.”

And finally, eyes take notice. Something changes in Hector and Eden’s eighteenth birthday threatens to shatter their secret paradise and future plans. What happens is heartbreaking. A string of horrible events that leads to something more horrible. And suddenly, Calder and Eden are pushed apart in a very permanent way. Nothing would ever be the same as truths are revealed and evil is unveiled.

“As long as we’re under the same moon, we’ll always find a way to each other.”

What happens after, I will not spoil for you. We’re at the point where Finding Eden begins. We know from the beginning of Becoming Calder that Eden is lost in present-day, trying to find a haven in a society she hadn’t lived a part of since she was a child. She’s fighting grief, but even then, her resilience and strength fight to go on.

“Sometimes I imagine the rain is him… If I’m alone, I turn my face into it… and I can feel him… I’ll never have a place where I can visit him, and so I’m with him in the rain.”

The continuing story takes us further on a journey rife with conflicting feelings, with love and loss, with pain and nightmares, as Eden tries to find life in her days. Could she love again? Could she truly let go of her past and rebuild a life again? Could she find a future in the eyes of someone that reminded her of all the hurt and all the pain and all the lies? Her past was marked by so much heartache, but there was also so much beauty and love.

“I swear to you, my beautiful, sweet love, everyone deserves a love story that doesn’t hurt.”

This story is just so beautiful to experience. The resilience and tenacity of Eden and Calder to survive each day was awe-inspiring. I felt so full-to-bursting with every emotion I felt. I was struck by how the story felt so raw and unadulterated, almost simple… a love that struggled to survive… but at the same time, it was teeming with so much. Laden with the weight of so many emotions colliding together at once. I am chastising myself for not reading Mia Sheridan earlier, because if she can write a story that evokes this intensity of feeling, that entrenches so deeply within me… well, I can only imagine what else awaits. I can’t say enough good things about these two books, only that you should read them at the soonest possible moment. Undoubtedly one of my most treasured reading experiences this year.

“… even though life could be horrifying and earth-shattering, terrible and tragic, it was also filled with moments of breathtaking beauty.”

addseriestogoodreads

Both books will be released on the same day, and should be read in order.

Join the Vixens Reading Group for a group chat with Mia Sheridan
on October 15th at 6:00 pm CST/ 7:00 pm EST. 

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