Book Recommendation by Narelle Atkins
Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee (B&H Publishing, 2010) is a speculative fiction love story. The early chapters in the book of Genesis outline Adam and Eve’s story. We know the basic plot. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and were banished from the Garden of Eden. Later on in the story their eldest son, Cain, murdered his younger brother, Abel.
The beauty of this book is the way the author has interpreted the events outlined in Genesis and brought these characters to life on the page. The story is a fascinating and thought provoking fictionalised account of what may have transpired during Havah’s lifetime. We look at the world through her eyes, and gain an insight into the life of the first woman and mother of all the living.
I was fascinated by the contrast between Adam and Havah’s idyllic and harmonious life in the Garden of Eden and their life in exile as they live with the consequences of their disobedience to ‘The One’. They shared this amazing relationship with ‘The One’ in the Garden that we can only dream about and suffered the pain of silence from ‘The One’ after they sinned and were exiled.
The book highlights the consequences of original sin, for Adam and Havah and their descendents. Things we perceive as a normal part of life eg. disease, ageing, death, difficulties with childbirth, nature being out of harmony, were foreign concepts to Adam and Havah until they were exiled into a broken world. Their harmonious and loving relationship drastically changed after they ate the forbidden fruit.
I was challenged to question the ideas and concepts raised in the story. Havah faced many problems and issues in her relationships with Adam and her growing family. She knew what life was like before sin entered the world and yearned to return to her former life in the Garden of Eden. Havah and Adam lived with incredible guilt as they and their descendents bore the consequences of their sin in the Garden of Eden. Their guilt put additional pressure on their relationship because they knew what they had lost.
This story also contains adult themes that are handled in a tasteful manner, and I give the story a PG rating for children and younger readers. I wouldn’t call this story a romance in the traditional sense because it is the original human love story turned sour. The story explores how Adam and Havah picked up the pieces after their idyllic relationship was shattered. I recommend this book to those looking for an insightful and challenging speculative fiction story.