In his third novel, Paul Harding reimagines Maine’s Malaga Island—a racially integrated community that forcibly removed its residents in 1912—as Apple Island, home to the descendants of a formerly enslaved man and his Irish wife who settled there some 100 years prior. Life on the island is shattered with the arrival of a missionary who takes a special interest in one resident who can pass as white while helping government powers in the “cleansing” of the rest of the community. Chaos ensues: residents are displaced, and some are even institutionalized. This Other Eden is a powerfully moving story that depicts the destruction of a home and a way of life. —Meg Zukin
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