Book Review: Naked in Eden

Robin Easton did an admirable thing.  Robin had been mildly autistic her whole life and, like many people, she recognized that something wasn’t quite right with her life.  She lived her life trying to “do the right thing.  Being polite.  Orderly.  Don’t rock the boat.  Never contradict anyone or break the rules, and always ‘think before you act.'”  She recognized she wasn’t happy living like that.

“Most days, I walked in a dark shadow of vague fear, lost and detached from all that most people hold dear: friends, family, and a sense of home and belonging.”

She believed if she didn’t “somehow awaken to life” she would die.

Then she met Ian.  Ian, an Australian and Robin’s soul-mate, is her complete opposite.  Where Robin was a rule follower, Ian was a rule breaker.  Where Robin was cautious, Ian was adventurous.  Where Robin cared what others though, Ian didn’t give a thought to it.   They instantly fell in love and moved into together.  One day, after taking several jobs as a model and finding herself miserable. Ian asked Robin what she did like doing.  Without hesitation, she said what she loved most was being in the mountains camping and hiking.  He promptly took her to the mountains, in the middle of the night, seeing it was what she needed.  And it was.  Ian taught her to follow impulse.

It is impulse that sends the pair out into the Australian Rain Forest.  To life.  Just the two of them.  And it is there, despite the dangerous animals, the insects, the deadly poisonous snakes, the stinging trees, the mud and the muck and the filth, and the Loss of Modern Day Conveniences that Robin becomes acutely aware of herself and the things around her.  To sound cliche, she becomes ‘one with nature.’

Sounds like a great book, doesn’t it?  For the most part, it was, there were just some parts.  Some parts that were… out there.  Like the whole talking with (not to, WITH) the trees and the animals.  The instantly knowing that the man you just met is the man you’ve known you would marry ever since you were four years old.  And I am all for love, butthis?

The first day I met Ian complete recognition washed over me. I felt I had always known him. I knew he was the person I’d waited for since I was four and a half years old. … When I met Ian, my life finally became real. (pg 21)

I’m sorry.  I love my husband but he did not make my life real.  I do not believe any one, man, woman, but perhaps child, could make my life real.  I make my life real.

But these are minor quibbles.  In the end, I admire Robin for taking control of her life.  I  had a hard time, initially, with her writing style, especially the dialect Australian.  I mean, what the heck does “strewth” mean? Anyone?  Marg?  And I am a creature of comfort.  As in, I like my chairs, my air conditioning and my oven, so the whole giving it all up and going wild went a little over my head.  Yet I can definitely see where some people would love this.  There were parts I enjoyed!  But in the end, it just wasn’t quite for me.  Definitely give it a glance though, perhaps you will be inspired to follow a few impulses of your own.

Naked in Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest
Written by Robin Easton
Category:
Nonfiction
Published by: HCI
Format: Hardback
Pages: 264
On Sale: September 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0757315121

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: Naked in Eden

  1. Crikey! You don't know what strewth means! 😉

    It is usually just an expression of surprise or amazement.

    It's the whole Jerry Maguire "You complete me" moment isn't it!

  2. Hehe, looking at Amy's post, you are in for some longwinded comments on not understanding the beauty of talking to trees.

    I don't think this book is for me, it all sounds a little bit too.. new agey? for me.

  3. It seems you felt kinda like I did 🙂 Though you did like it more. Oh, and I can attest to the fact that a lot of people love the book… hah

  4. I had to read this review simply because I saw your rating at Goodreads. Haha. I knew "strewth" but I cheated early in my Australian-lit reading life. I have an Australian dictionary. I'm not sure I could stand this book, in spite of my love of memoirs. That comment about knowing he was the person she'd waited for since she was 4 1/2 was more than a little weird. 4 1/2??? What's with the half? And, what happened at age 4 that made her awaken to the fact that she was waiting for someone? Picky, picky but I agree that would bug me.

  5. I just loved this book! Some of the concepts are far out for most of our society because so many people have completely lost touch with nature. Many of our ancestors had great relationships with nature and speaking with her in many forms. Many cultures spent much of their time thanking nature for all that she provides for humans to survive, and they listened to her for the messages that she holds within. Talking to the beings around us is far from a new concept, and it is too bad that we have moved so far from nature that we can no longer hear her.

    I want more copies of it to share with friends and family! I think it will be a highly inspiring book for many people that are ready to follow their dreams.

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