Paperback reprint edition coming soon!

Growing up in Corvallis, I was always aware of our town's weird and scandalous story of Franz Creffield and the "Holy Rollers." In researching and writing the tragedy as a novel, I have become aware of how often similar stories of religious cults and vigilante justice continue to play themselves out all across the country. The strange happenings that shook the sleepy town of Corvallis over a hundred years ago are surprisingly relevant today.

HarperCollins paperback cover

Rather than simply pass on the various "Holy Roller" rumors as has been done so often in the past, I made a point of going back to the original details as printed in the local papers of the time. Interestingly, I found little evidence for many of the most popular and salacious anecdotes.

Other research included finding out about our town of Corvallis at the turn of the century and what life was like for the women.

I studied the system of mental hospitals at the time and particularly, how easy it was for men to commit their wives and daughters for insanity.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I studied the psychology of cults. Patterns began to emerge for me in the way religious cults tend to operate, and this helped me imagine, from a surviving victim's point of view, the strange saga of Franz Creffield.

Many of the people involved in this story were laid to rest at the cemetery in Yachats, Oregon, a beautiful site overlooking the Pacific.

Brides of Eden
A True Story Imagined

For the first time since its original publication by HarperCollins in 2001, Brides of Eden is now available in ebook format for just $5.99.

"Based on a true story from Corvallis, OR, in about 1903-1906, Crew's novel credibly and engagingly describes the degrees by which common sense and sincere religious belief gradually can be subverted to fanaticism. Dramatic, sobering, and sadly all too real." -- Joel Shoemaker, School Library Journal

"This well-researched story has a very satisfying plot from an interesting voice and will have readers rushing to learn the bizarre outcome ... a facinating look at the dynamics of cults." --Kirkus Reviews

"Gorgeously emotional ... Brides of Eden will haunt the minds of its readers for many, many years." -- Dan Hays, The Salem Statesman-Journal

"Crew tells a good story."--The New York Times Book Review

"Crew deftly explores religious fanaticism, group thought, and the psychology of victimization, at the same time weaving a strong tale." --Ilene Cooper, Booklist

Original HarperCollins hardback cover

Attie Bray and Eva Mae Hurt, two of the real young women whose stories are told in Brides of Eden.

To remove the women from the influence of Franz Creffield, a charismatic religious leader, the town fathers declared them insane. Several of the commitment hearings were held in the Benton County Courthouse.

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