3.08.2009

Eve: A Novel of the First Woman

Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliot

Another book sent to me by The Ooze. The first outright fiction, I think, and the first book by a woman that they’ve sent.

When Julie Clawson suggested a synchroblog for International Women’s Day featuring women in the Bible, I thought, “Great! I’ll finally write a review of that book I’ve been reading.” It is the story of the first family, told through the eyes of Eve and three of her daughters.

I finally finished it yesterday. I haven’t been reading much fiction lately, at least not fiction written for grownups. And definitely not the kind that includes references to “swollen manhood.” I suppose you can’t really write about Eve without getting into the topic of sex, yet this book clearly is written for a religious audience and so probably it can’t get too explicit. Still, it was a little jarring for me, more than actually erotic.

The story of Eve and Adam and their children is also the story of a pretty dysfunctional family. This book delves into how that started and how it connects to untold generations of unhealthy families to come.

There are some very good passages about how the temptation of Eve might actually have happened, and how and why the offerings of Cain and Abel were made and received, and how it all affected everyone so badly.

Throughout the book, Elohim is an interesting character, known only through the memories and experiences of other people, never speaking for himself. The first family’s interaction with another culture is also interesting. The other religion is clearly portrayed as false, while Elohim is portrayed as elusive but real. Which is how I tend to experience God, but still. It’s pretty clear what the author’s opinion is, and there are some tangential threads that back up the understanding that all of this is leading to the need for a future Savior, without quite coming out and saying that. Which probably appeals to some people and not to others. You know who you are.

Definitely thought provoking. Also disturbing, imaginative, and gripping. I never stopped to imagine what really happened to Eve and Adam and their children in this “earthy-gritty fashion,” as the author says on her website. A worthy attempt, I’d say.

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5 Comments:

OpenID gracerules said...

I have not heard of the book before - sounds interesting - I will check it out.

3/08/2009 9:24 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Gracerules: I hope you enjoy it. In case it's not clear, the first link will take you to a list of places you can buy the book.

3/09/2009 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Brit said...

I just got done reading, and am considering reading it again. I thought it was wonderful, One of the best books I have read in a while. She did a great job at not leaving anything out, like the book didn't lack anything. Anywho, I loved it.

3/21/2009 5:36 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

i'm almost to the end of the book, and i'm pleased with it. in it, i hear bits borrowed (in essence) from Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent." Elliot had a similar idea; retell a universally known Biblical story in the voice of the woman, or women, who lived it. the stories Elliot and Diamant created are fresh, interesting, and wholly believable.

(if you haven't read "The Red Tent", you'd do well to obtain a copy. quickly. i've worn out two copies myself.)

12/29/2009 5:44 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Angie, thanks for commenting. I keep meaning to read The Red Tent, but I haven't yet. That would make a good project for the New Year's weekend...

12/29/2009 6:35 PM  

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