EDEN WAITSis 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.
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Praise for EDEN WAITS
Winner of a 2020 U.P. Notable Books Award (that's the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).
An Editors' Choice selection in The Historical Novels Review, February 2020.
Biaggio’s characters are…well developed, and she manages to weave them into her story gradually…. The book brims with pioneer spirit and determination. I particularly enjoyed reading about the daily lives of the members, especially the women. Highly recommended. Editors' Choice.
~Janice Derr, The Historical Novels Review, February 2020
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
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
For readers of historical fiction, I highly recommend EDEN WAITS. A great bonus is that any liberties the author may have taken with strict historical facts are imperceptible. The story moves seamlessly from 1892 to 1895 and includes an epilogue as fascinating as the tale itself. The time I spent in the 241 pages were, for me, worthwhile and enjoyable.
~ Donna Winters, UP Book Review, November 2020
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