Children of Eden


Romance - Suspense
404 Pages
Reviewed on 12/10/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Michael Beeney qualified as a doctor at Barts Hospital, London in 1975 and as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh in 1983. He admits to a life of wanderlust which has found him in many strange places around the world on literally every continent. But much of his travel has been as a ship’s doctor on luxury cruise liners, notably the iconic QE2 Cunard liner in the 80s and 90s. His nautical experiences provide a fitting backdrop to this, his first novel. Although a non-believer himself, Michael acknowledges the powerful symbolism of the biblical quotes which resonate strongly
with the narrative.
When not travelling, he lives in Mt Tambourine, Queenslnd. He is single, and any record of his own genetic contribution to the human race remains buried in old and dusty confidential files.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite

Children of Eden by Michael Beeney takes us into the world of Harry Lester from London. Harry, like many others, took part in visiting unregulated infertility clinics when he was a medical student. Harry easily donated his genetic material to allow couples who were infertile to seek help. Twenty years after his donation period, Harry has given in to his wanderlust and is a doctor on a cruise ship. This allows him to work, but also travel as much as his heart desires. Harry's lifestyle is luxurious, carefree and fun. Twenty-year-old Jason Brown was born to a mother who desperately wanted him. He was the product of one of those unregulated infertility clinics, his father only ever known as a donor to him. That is until he becomes obsessed with finding out who his father is, and the drive to find this knowledge leads him on a journey around the world.

I have to admit to being a person who has occasionally thought about what children who were conceived by sperm donation felt like when they were older. Diving into this story gave me a little taste of what that might be like, Jason is utterly determined to find out more about his father and I have to admire his ambition. Of course the story is not as straight up as one man trying to find his father. There has to be, after all, a woman involved too, and when you have people who don't know one of their parents and a man who doesn't know where his sperm was used, you can walk into some sticky situations.

Author Michael Beeney has written a fast paced, unique, and enjoyable book. You have mystery, intrigue, a little bit of a criminal element, and romance as well. This book is a page turner that truly does give the reader a little bit of everything. If you are looking for your next read that might make you gasp out loud at some of the situations that pop up, this is going to be one that you will enjoy a great deal.

Elizabeth Butts

Children of Eden is many genres all wrapped up in one book. It is an unexpected romance, it is a book with some scientific investigation, and it is a book about medical ethics. Children of Eden follows the life of Harry Lester, from his years as a medical student in 1970s London, to his time as the doctor on a luxury cruise ship. Harry is difficult to like at first, as he sees the world as an interesting version of black and white. He sees value in interpersonal relationships only in what they can do to benefit him. He sees the opposite sex as a means of sexual gratification. Just that. A ‘receptacle’. While a medical student, he was a donor at three private infertility clinics, where patients who had lost all hope would go for a final chance at their dream of parenthood. He made his deposit and walked away, not thinking about the possibility he left behind in a cup. Flash forward about twenty years, and he feels an unexpected attraction to the new nurse on the ship. Something that seems like feelings develop, and the hard edged black and white doctor becomes human. But, as Children of Eden lets us know, past actions almost always have consequences.

Michael Beeney draws you into a world of opulence within the luxury cruise ship. You will marvel at the exotic locations you will be visiting while lost within the pages of Children of Eden. You will find yourself moving from a certain level of contempt towards Harry Lester and his feelings towards not only the opposite sex, but relationships in general. And then you will marvel at the level of love and compassion he is capable of as his past catches up to him in spades. To be able to move the reader through such extreme reactions so seamlessly is an impressive feat, and I highly recommend this book to all who would like to have their horizons expanded.

Rabia Tanveer

Children of Eden by Michael Beeney is the story of how the infertility clinics of the '70s changed the lives of many parents and their children, and the chain reaction was never ending. Harry Lester was just a medical student in the 1970s when he frequently provided his services as a sperm donor for the couples that needed children. Almost two decades later, he is now living on a luxury cruise liner as a doctor, enjoying his life and that's how he wants to live it. He has no idea that one of the results of his sperm donor jobs is looking for Harry, his real father.

Jason Brown had a great life, his parents loved him and he was very happy. That is until the day he found out that his “real father” is not the one he thought he was. With his world upside down and his life upended, he is now looking for the man who fathered him, and he wants to know that part of his life and family that he never knew. But everything is not as it seems. Both Harry and Jason are just part of the big picture, but they are not the only ones.

Children of Eden is a surprisingly good story. I was expecting romance and some drama, but this is so much more than that. There are a lot of emotions and heartfelt agony. I loved the main characters. I loved Jason and I loved to hate Harry. He is a complicated man, and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t like him. Jason is a good kid, but there is a lot that you will discover about him when you read the novel. This is a well written mystery that will unfold as you read it. Rest assured, it is brilliant and written in a way that suits the plot and the characters.

Ruffina Oserio

Children of Eden by Michael Beeney is a gripping story that features very compelling characters with unique and questionable backgrounds, a story that begins in the notorious Mabini Street in one of Manila’s well-known red light districts, and takes readers across different countries and cultures.

Harry Lester, once a sperm donor, works in a luxury cruise liner. Jason Brown is a very intelligent and quiet man, but he is haunted by his past. Since he learned that his anonymous father was a sperm donor, he’s been on a quest to find out who he is. And will he? And then there is the nurse who takes a job with the luxury cruise liner and finds herself in a steamy romance that will rock her world and, perhaps, change her life in dire and unforeseeable ways.

The author makes great use of humor, which punctuates the fascinating prose. It is also interesting to notice how he translates the way the unlearned bar girls speak English into very interesting dialogues. Overall, I enjoyed this book and the author seems to bring a lot of his personal experiences into the stunning narrative. I happen to live in Manila and it was interesting reading how the author paints the well-known Mabini Street.

This is a beautiful story with multi-layered conflicts, well-developed characters and powerful themes. Michael Beeney’s writing is highly descriptive. From the very beginning, readers are pulled in by the powerful portrait of life in Mabini Street, Manila, with the prostitutes, the “forsaken humanity parading before” one of the key characters in murky, smoke-filled bars. The characters are very real and readers will easily become interested in them. Children of Eden is a story that will appeal to fans of adventure and romance.

Christian Sia

Children of Eden by Michael Beeney is a tantalizing read, a story that will take readers to surprising places. The story revolves around three key characters. One is a doctor serving in a cruise ship, with a lot of history involving sexual experiences, notably his past activity as a sperm donor. Harry Lester might have been the only hope for infertile couples who needed to have a child of their own, but might it be that his generous service created more problems for someone than it solved? Jason Brown has just discovered that his conception wasn’t normal. He is more than upset that he is the offspring of a man who must have anonymously donated sperm to his parents, but who is he? His journey is in search of the truth about his father. But then, there is the twist — the romance that completely changes the tone of the story and raises the stakes. What are the consequences for a young, bright, and beautiful nurse with endless work options?

Michael Beeney’s writing is mesmerizing, and his prose is so descriptive it will have the reader completely absorbed. He has the skill of weaving many literary elements together and surprising readers with engaging plot lines and compelling characters. The story starts with a captivating description of the nightlife at Mabini Street, in Manila, Philippines, a setting that is powerful and that accurately depicts the atmosphere in this city of pleasures. There is a lot of humor, communicated through the masterful use of dialogue and descriptive narrative. The author introduces very complex themes, a colossal conflict, and a humanity vacillating between hope and despair. Children of Eden is so human, so real, so poignantly told that the reader will feel the pain of the characters. You’ll be swept along by the intense drama and compelling story.