Eden Waits

Eden Waits is based on the true story of Michigan’s utopian experiment. In 1893, financial panic imperils the settlement homesteaded by Abraham and Elizabeth Byers. Abraham, a preacher and self-proclaimed man of the people, rails against greed and corruption and launches Hiawatha Colony, a product-sharing community designed to support its members through self-sufficiency. But can this cooperative community withstand internal strife, the harsh wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the antagonism of the outside world? When discord rocks the community, Abraham must choose between dissolving the colony and compromising the ideals that elevated him to its patriarch. 

Although numerous utopian communities were formed in the United States in the nineteenth century, there are few accounts of the day-to-day life and challenges faced by them. Abraham and Elizabeth were in their advanced years when they homesteaded acreage in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. What drove them to risk so much to build a community of kin and like-minded idealists? This carefully researched historical novel explores the struggle between ideals and practicality and the collision of political and religious realms. The events bear surprising parallels to today’s climate of polarization, questions about leadership, and concerns over corporate power.

What Others Are Saying: 

In Eden Waits Biaggio has crafted a warm and textured portrait of a dynamic moment in American history. As seen through the complex lives of the Byers family and their idealistic patriarch, Eden Waits perfectly captures the earnestly progressive utopian yearnings of the late 19th century, and the very human pitfalls that so often frustrate our dreamings of a better world. 

David Williams, Author of When the English Fall

America has a long history of attempts at creating Utopia, and Eden Waits provides a gripping fictional account of one such community experiment which took place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the late 19th century. Maryka Biaggio, a descendent of the founders of the community in the wilds of Schoolcraft County, brings to life the events that led to the development of Hiawatha Colony. This well-researched novel examines a lost chapter in our history, one that explores how our dreams are often compromised by our needs, and how our notions regarding family, work, faith lead to an insatiable and as yet unrequited desire to create a fair and equitable society.  

—John Smolens, Author of Out, Wolf's Mouth, The Anarchist, The Schoolmaster's Daughter, and Quarantine 

This fascinating novel combines an overlooked location (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) and an overlooked social phenomenon (the Utopian movements of the 19th century) to create an emotionally compelling story of aspiration and oppression in America's deep woods. It takes history and makes it personal. 

Steve Wiegenstein, Author of The Daybreak Series, Slant of Light, This Old World, and The Language of Trees 

About the Author:

Maryka Biaggio, Ph.D., is a former psychology professor turned novelist who specializes in historical fiction based on real people. She enjoys the challenge of starting with actual historical figures and dramatizing their lives—figuring out what motivated them to behave as they did, studying how the cultural and historical context may have influenced them, and recreating some sense of their emotional world through dialogue and action. Doubleday published her debut novel, Parlor Games, in January 2013. She lives in Portland, Oregon, that edgy green gem of the Pacific Northwest. You can visit her web page at marykabiaggio.com.

by Maryka Biaggio
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5
248 Pages
FICTION / Political
FICTION / Historical
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Price $16.95
Availability In-Stock

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