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My Name Was Eden: A Novel (Hardcover)
In this edge-of-your-seat psychological debut, a mother’s experience with Vanishing Twin Syndrome triggers disturbing changes in her teenage daughter, perfect for fans of The Push and The Undoing.
“My Name Was Eden is a compulsive, didn't-see-it-coming thriller.”—Abigail Dean, international bestselling author of Girl A
One twin vanished. The other twin remained. Until now...
When her daughter Eden came home from the hospital, Lucy was profoundly relieved. Eden had survived a drowning incident and had no apparent brain damage, no serious injuries, not even a scratch on her. Lucy fervently welcomed having a second chance at being the good mother she should have been before her teenager’s accident.
Until Eden tells her that Eden isn’t her name. Until she starts calling herself Eli. The name Lucy had reserved for Eden’s unborn twin.
Don’t worry, says the doctor. Eden is completely fine, says her husband. Of course I’m fine, Eden says, with that strange new smile of hers. I didn’t die. I’m here.
But Lucy knows something’s very wrong with Eden. She’s not her maddening, complicated teenage girl anymore—this straight-backed, even tempered, steady-eyed child in her house is someone else entirely. Eden, it seems, is the twin who disappeared…
Eleanor Barker-White holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa university. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Janklow and Nesbit Prize, and has had a number of short stories published in Best of British and The People’s Friend magazines. She has previously worked with children and families in family courts, His Majesty’s Prison service, and children’s charities, and remains fascinated by the endless capacity for human resilience. She was born and raised in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, but now lives in Wiltshire with her husband and four children. My Name Was Eden is her first novel.
“My Name Was Eden is a compulsive, didn't-see-it-coming thriller—and a tender take on parenting, isolation, and intergenerational trauma. Barker-White creates the kind of claustrophobic dread you only find in the unhappiest of families, right to the final, sucker punch few pages.” — Abigail Dean, international bestselling author of Girl A
"In this captivating and highly original novel of psychological suspense, Eleanor Barker-White takes the reader on a journey into the heart of maternal grief and intergenerational trauma. My Name Was Eden is a fantastic debut—unpredictable, tense, and absorbing." — Rose Carlyle, #1 international bestselling author of The Girl in the Mirror
“This strong debut successfully explores intergenerational trauma in a twisty thriller with enough notes of horror to require reading with all the lights on. For fans of Zoje Stage and Lucinda Berry.” — Library Journal
?“This debut thriller delivered. It had me questioning which narrator to trust while figuring out which character wrote the menacing prologue.” — Reader's Digest
“This darkly atmospheric thriller in the vein of Nicola Marsh's The Scandal (2020), Helen Klein Ross' What Was Mine (2016), and Nicole Baart's Little Broken Things (2017) puts a family's long-held secrets in jeopardy under mysterious circumstances…. Exploring the shared burdens of grief, recovery, and misplaced loyalties, My Name Was Eden is a compelling debut.” — Booklist
“My Name Was Eden takes a deep dive into parental guilt, the messy emotions of love and mourning, and it’s also genuinely creepy and uncomfortable with a unique premise. Clever writing and insightful observations make this a great read.” — Helen Fields, bestselling author of Perfect Remains and The Institution
“Gorgeously written and brimming with spine-tingling tension, My Name Was Eden hooked me from the first page. This is not just a first-rate thriller but also a fascinating dive into questions of identity, perception, and who we choose to hold dear, be they living or dead. Barker-White is a major new voice in psychological thrillers.” — Mindy Mejia, bestselling author of Everything You Want Me to Be and To Catch a Storm
“Shifting fluidly between family drama and thriller, My Name Was Eden is a haunting exploration of motherhood at its most tested. Tragic and unnerving in equal measure, Barker-White’s debut had me gripped from its heart-breaking opening chapter through to its shocking end. Brilliant!” — Amy Beashel, author of Spilt Milk
“Spellbinding, captivating, and entirely unique. I flew through this book, second guessing my every suspicion along the way. A brilliant story of psychological suspense, motherhood, and friendship.” — Nora Murphy, author of The Favor and The New Mother
“Eleanor’s characters had me at the edge of my seat. I became submerged in the murky world so beautifully depicted. A story of memories, longing and of heartbreak. Stunning debut.” — Kelechi Okafor, author of Edge of Here
“I really, really enjoyed this book. It's dark and creepy but still manages to stay realistic and within the confines of domestic noir. Nightmarish, but in the most compelling way. A proper page turner.” — Katy Brent, bestselling author of How to Kill Men and Get Away with It
“Complex, dark, utterly gripping. Barker-White compellingly peels back the layers of family life revealing the diseased heart at its core. Had me reading far too late into the night.” — Tammy Cohen, author of The Wedding Party