Scales of Eden


The Scales of Eden (608 pages, $35) by Wayne Campbell, is the true story of the betrayal at the center of a fictional account of the unique, inspiring scientific community that emerged overnight in the upper Ottawa Valley during the mid-1940s.

For “Wade Campbell”, growing up in the 1950s, Deep River is an earthly paradise. The Town Beside the Ottawa is an instant community, built in less than a year to house the scientists, engineers and others who work at Canada’s first nuclear research facility at nearby Chalk River.

Wade and his friends from the far reaches of Canada and the world discover an exciting life that combines disciplined scholarship and sports with adventure in the wild green forests of the upper Ottawa Valley. This virtual academy is made possible by the mentoring of the highly educated young men and women who are shaping the newly anointed engine of limitless power, atomic energy.

But not all of their mentors are motivated by altruism. Within this Eden of promise and unbounded possibility the boys are being stalked by a predator masked as one of their own.

When Wade and his friend Ferg muster the courage to expose this serpent in paradise, they find their troubles are just beginning.

ISBN: 978-1-77257-120-8 (PB)

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Additional information

Weight 1.125 kg
Dimensions 22.86 × 15.24 × 3.9 cm

10 reviews for Scales of Eden

  1. Tiffany Yemen

    Reading The Scales of Eden cover-to-cover held me spellbound for two full days. For me it is as enthralling as any literary masterpiece I can think of.

  2. Tiffany Yemen

    Wow….what a book! We have been in Bali for a little over 2 weeks, but I did complete the book shortly before leaving.
    I enjoyed your 13 year journey through Cockcroft Public School and Mackenzie High School immensely from beginning to end. I did not read quickly because I didn’t want to miss a single detail.
    You brought to memory so many elements that impacted on your Deep River life(and ours) in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s…..your girlfriends, your teachers, AECL, your family, and of course the ‘dark’ side. I enjoyed too the references to the books, the movies and particularly the music of the time. The 50′ to mid 60’s is still my favourite music era.
    I loved the book…keep writing Wayne!

  3. Tiffany Yemen

    Your book is beautiful, tragic, sad, funny, memorable. Thank you for this gift to all of us who came of age in our “Eden”.
    ~Barb Morel Cox

  4. Tiffany Yemen

    Loved the book Wayne. It was hard to put down. I read it in pieces so I would have more time reading it!
    ~Bart St. John-Smith

  5. Tiffany Yemen

    The thing I noticed (having read half the book) is the connection of each generation to the river and the bush …and of course sports. Plus we all seem to stay connected unlike many who live in the city.
    Thanks for writing it! Unfortunately, however, Art was left unscathed unlike his victim(s).
    ~Blayne Stuart

  6. Tiffany Yemen

    The Scales of Eden is a coming of age novel that stretches from the late forties to 1960. It is Wayne’s story. It is Deep River’s story. It is exceptionally well crafted and very readable. I can’t tell whether it is because I lived part of it or because it really is an awesome read but I literally couldn’t put the book down. I hope it was because it is an awesome read because it deserves a much wider audience. If you spent any time in the 50’s in or around Deep River at all, you would be missing an amazing trip down memory lane if you did not read this book. It colors those black and white pictures you carry in your mind of a simpler time and an amazing place.
    ~Dave Anderson

  7. Tiffany Yemen

    I read 30-40 books a year, all digital. I don’t read hard copy. Personal preference. When I saw yours at 600 pages I decided to read a chapter a day. Well good luck. I have heard the phrase ‘couldn’t put the book down’ never experienced it until now.

    Your book is freaking awesome! It is well written and well-constructed. It did justice to the story you were telling and the town. (You caught the essence.) Your book deserves a much wider audience.

    The only author I ever contacted after reading a book was Pulitzer prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin who wrote ‘A Team of Rivals’. The story of Abe Lincoln’s cabinet. I expressed the personal belief that man’s purpose is to strive for the achievement of excellence in whatever he or she is doing. I think she came close to achieving excellence with her book.
    So have you.

    The highest accolade I can think of is a standing ovation, so I am now standing and clapping. Well done!

  8. Tiffany Yemen

    The book is a “coming of age” novel about a boy growing up in Canada in the late 1940’s and the 1950’s. The story is immediately gripping. The protagonist, Wade, is an intelligent child who from early on is abused by an alcoholic father and later by other adults in a way that is the book’s real theme. The story depicts such detail of Wade’s thinking and emotional roller coasters so you eventually realize that this is not pure fiction; it must be an autobiography. Wade’s interactions with friends, adversaries, family and teachers are very convincingly narrated and the reader feels like an observer. Wade rebels against all forms of authority, and usually is too proud to defend himself against false accusations, of which there are many.
    Telling too much about how the story develops would be a spoiler. Suffice to say that this may be a candidate for being named “The Great Canadian Novel”. In its low key style and high intensity, with everyday life described in detail, it is riveting even when not much happens, and it is right up there with the works of J.D. Salinger and John Updike.

  9. Tiffany Yemen

    The Scales of Eden is a poignant account of a boy’s life in the wild beauty of Deep River in a brand-new town built for nuclear scientists. We see the measure of the boy (Wade) as he struggles relentlessly with almost insurmountable challenges at home, in school and on the river. Life isn’t all bad though as Wade has his best friend and fellow-adventurer Batch.

    The characters are many and complex but the development of each is superbly etched in our memory as is their impact on Wade’s life. The reader suffers along with Wade and feels his sadness, helplessness, and outrage as he experiences the ultimate betrayal twice by those who were supposed to protect him.

    A skillfully sustained ambiance of suspense keeps the reader from putting down this 600-page book until the end.

    The Scales of Eden would make an excellent movie and/or TV series.

    Joan Borsu

  10. Julie Hartwick

    Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your book immensely. You brought to life a great cast of characters, revealed our small town’s beauty and its ugly secrets, and enclosed all in a classic coming of age story.
    Although I didn’t know many teens from your generation, I certainly recognized the family names and hung out with most of their younger sibs as a teen. I could tell you where each family lived even now, but could never remember with such accuracy the details you bring to life. And, you’ve got ten years on me!
    The novel is a true document of a truly unique town in a truly unique age. The latter theme, the history of AECL and the Cold War in Canada, woven deftly into the plot, broadens Wade’s personal journey and gives the novel its historical heft.
    But you know all this, of course.
    Personally, I couldn’t help thinking throughout that your expose of the insidious, spirit crushing insularity of village life has been a theme of Canadian literature frequently explored playwrights and authors I’ve had the pleasure to teach to Canadian teens, from Stephen Leacock to W.O. Mitchell, Robertson Davies, to our Nobel winner, Alice Munro. To my mind you book joins this league. I would like to see it on the English curriculum, replacing those old chestnuts, To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye. “Scales” would bring us into this century in a significant way.
    Love the chance to talk further,
    All the best,

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