May 24, 2009

Review: Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliott

After Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden they traveled far away and established their home. Soon after, Eve gave birth to her most famous children Cain then Abel. Later they were joined by the other children in this story, Naava, Aya and the twins Jaken and Dara.

The book opens with Eve remembering the fateful moment when she realized that Cain just killed Abel. On her deathbed, Eve tells the story leading up to this terrible occurrence flashing back from her time in the Garden of Eden and the years in between including their meeting a strange group of people who have arrived on their lands to establish a city nearby. Also narrating their own parts of the story are her daughters Naava, Aya and Dara.

The oldest daughter Naava is self-absorbed and has her sights set on marrying Cain yet she cannot help being tempted by Abel’s good looks and the strange new Prince that shows a growing interest in her.

Aya is the middle daughter with a crippled foot that has become somewhat of a backbone to the family. She cooks and tends to their wounds with a secret wish to become a bird that will fly far away from her family.

The youngest Dara is bartered away to the strangers to become their babysitter. She feeds Eve’s guilt over this by wondering what she did for her family to send her away and yearning to be back with her twin and the others.

I enjoyed this book for exactly what it was, a fiction novel. There are some readers who were upset by the fact that the author changed things around some or got things wrong but it was not meant to tell a biblical story it was meant to entertain and I feel the book did just that.

There is more to the story than why Cain killed Abel. Eve shares her hopes and fears about life and her children along with the growing knowledge that Adam is not the same man he was while they lived in the Garden. In her narration of the story she comes across as strong and brave but when seen by others she seems week and even at times needy and whiney. It’s an interesting contrast.

Overall I liked the story I just feel that there could have been more depth to both the characters and the storyline. Elliot seemed more focused on graceful flowing words than a deeper intense story. Recommended as a library read for historical fiction lovers.