The winner of Eve by Elissa Elliott is Joanne from BookZombie! Congratulations, Joanne!
I received Eve by Elissa Elliott through Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program. I’ve actually had my eye on this book since October 2008, when I first saw it in a catalog from the publisher. Imagine my excitement when I snagged it in Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program! I couldn’t have been more excited and immediately picked it up when I finished the book I was reading.
Unfortunately, 24 pages in, I just couldn’t continue with it. The book started off choppy for me, with the narration altering each chapter between Eve and three of her daughters: Naava, Aya, and Dara. I could have overlooked that, had there not been this OTHER thing.
See, I’ve done an extensive amount of Bible study in the past. So I know the stories. I don’t even mind some literary license to change the stories. But what I couldn’t get past was this:
(As background, Aya is slightly crippled, and this is her brother, Abel, talking) “But,” he continued, “that is the way Elohim wanted you. Do you believe that?”
Perhaps I will disagree with other religious people on this, but since this is my blog and this book is based on Adam and Eve, I’m going to go ahead and say what I think on this one thing:
GOD DIDN’T WANT PEOPLE TO BE CRIPPLED!! God created mankind perfect, it was Adam and Eve that screwed it up. So if anything, it’s Adam and Eve’s fault that their daughter is crippled. Not God.
So at this point, knowing that I disagree on too many fundamental things in this book to continue reading, I set it aside.
It’s not that I think the book is bad, and it’s not that I think the author shouldn’t have written the book this way. Rather, it’s that I’ve done too much study of the Bible to be able to read a story that takes as much literary license as this one has. Kind of like history buffs having a hard time reading historical fiction. This is one of those times that ignorance is bliss, because I would much rather be able to enjoy this book for what it is: a story.
But I don’t want this to just be my negativity on this book. So here’s what Publishers Weekly had to say:
Elliott reimagines the story of Adam and Eve in a debut novel that richly evokes earliest biblical times. The story is told from the points of view of Eve and her daughters: Naava, the beautiful weaver; Aya, the quick-witted, club-footed cook; and Dara, the compassionate observant twin. Eve recounts the fall and how she and Adam wander until settling down to grow crops, raise livestock and start a garden of their own. Elliott offers readers vivid details about the first childbirth, the first intercourse, the first recriminations, the first environmental calamity and the first hunt, but the novel really comes alive when it departs from lushly imagined retelling and thrusts the family into unfamiliar territory when the brood encounters a city and city people. Elliott is at her imaginative and linguistic best describing city life, customs and architecture, building tension as Naava falls for a prince, fueling Cain’s wrath. Elliott makes biblical fiction her own with a female perspective that emphasizes emotional turmoil, sensual experience and an impressive range of imagery that brings to life daily life in the beginning. (Jan.)
So my loss is your gain. If you’d like the book, just leave a comment on this post and I’ll draw a winner February 9, 2009. Good luck!
Edited to add: There’s a way better review of this book over at Steph & Tony Investigate.