Monday, January 11, 2010
Havah ~ The Story of Eve
Title: Havah ~ The Story of Eve
Author: Tosca Lee
From the back cover:
A single decision has the power to unravel mankind.
Created, not born.
The world's first woman, without flaw until one fateful choice. Now all humanity must pay for the mistake.
From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam, experience the dawn of mankind through the eyes of Eve ~ the woman first known as Havah.
I've never read anything by this author before but I can tell you she does her research. The author's notes and acknowledgments let you know how much work she put into each thought and idea before she put it on paper. Still, she had to use a great bit of imagination to create the world and people that come alive in this book.
The language sings. I tried to come up with a better word, but in light of the subject being covered, perhaps it fits. Since none of us were present, and the world today is nothing like the Garden of Eden, her descriptions were very important. All through the book the imagery is second to none.
Her portrayal of Adam & Eve (who go by many names) changes throughout the book. I think that's appropriate as they did change once sin entered into their lives, and then as they faced the consequences of that sin. The change that happened once they ate the fruit was written brilliantly. There could be no doubt what they lost and how badly it hurt and frightened them.
I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was an imaginative and well written version of a story some of us take for granted and forget to think about after we leave Sunday School. I did think it was slightly feminist in nature ~ probably owing in part to the fact it came from Eve's point of view and showed her bias.
I think the author intended to show women were considered equal by God, which has been distorted by some translators and modern religions. However, Eve often was rude and callous to Adam, named all the children and held his comments to God about the fruit against him, even though she passed blame to the serpent as well. They each sinned in the same way.
Eve also was very vain and jealous, often comparing herself to her daughters and later women who came to visit. Even in the Garden, she loved to listen to how beautiful she was, and remarked upon how she was faster than Adam and even most of the animals.
It also seemed like it was this "weakness" to like to hear how beautiful, smart and how like God she was (always told to her by the Serpent) that led her to listen to his other comments about the fruit. The Serpent was a very unusual character. His description and manner were very well done ~ and it is interesting how differently Adam & Eve respond to him.
The book doesn't end with the ousting from the Garden. The secondary characters and their tales are done just as well, though I may not agree with all her conclusions as to how things came to pass. I do think she did a terrific job weaving a tale where you can almost see the dust on the sandals and smell the bread baking.
This is a thought-provoking, entertaining, and very well written book. If you like Biblical fiction, consider picking up this one.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 3:50 AM