A Historical fiction novel of Biblical proportions that weighs heavily on the heart. This was not my normal reading style. Normally I tent to stay away from anything that even lightly touches on the sensitive subject of religion. I am intrigued by biblical periods but do not gravitate towards them. Eve however pulled me towards her, first with the upcoming release of the paperback copy. Since it has a to die for cover that could possibly be a Pre Raphaelite piece of artwork. I went to the library and happened to browse the new releases one day and "bam" there it was the hard cover copy. Which was just as alluring with it’s sorrowfully posed woman. In the first page I was hooked in with the very poetic prologue.
The story of Adam and Eve harks back to the very beginning of time. "Elohim" created Adam and Eve in his image. They were his children since he had given them the spark of life. Being adult children: the two lovers spent their days free from care and harmonious in the Garden of Eden. Sheltered from the outside world and protected by Elohim himself. Their days in the garden were numbered but they did have a choice. Elohim asked of them one thing, not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was lured by Lucifer to question why she was not allowed to eat from the tree. She had decided she was going to eat it with Adam. The consequences were to be enormous, banishment from the only home they ever knew and the only parent love they ever had.
Life was bitter outside of the garden. Adam and Eve were forced into becoming nomads after banishment. Banishment from a place that I imagined to be an unfathomably beautiful place. The garden would over shadow the rest of their lives, nothing would ever compare to its beauty. Eve and Adams existence after the garden was excruciating, always looking to the past and not to the future. With the eating of the fruit it was impossible to get back what they had lost, their "lightness" was gone. Elohim who had spent time with them from the beginning became a question of a dream world that might not have existed. Were they really in the garden with Elohim or was it just a fading dream?
Eve and Adam’s children were all born outside of the garden. First Cain, then Able, Naava, Aya, Jacan, and Dara. All of the children were very unique individuals. Cain was an explosive, abusive, schizophrenic personality type brimming with anger. His personality was a constant thorn in the novel. Naava the oldest girl was narcissistic, and evil as Cain was, just not in a physical sense. I was drawn to Aya second to Eve because she was "cripple" as they saw it but she was the smartest and hardest working of the family. Aya the "bird" who would fly with Elohim in her dreams and hear his whispers in the wind. She was my favorite all though she was very vengeful at times. This novel was distinctly about a family in crisis, a dysfunctional home that might not be repairable. Sibling rivalry reached murderous proportions. From poisoning to incest there was no emotional plot left untouched.
This review has been hard for me because I still am undecided on how I feel about the book. It did have brutal moments but then again in my mind it compensates for the times. Biblical times were not the prettiest of times. I became really attached to Eve but she was living in the past until something so horrific happened it shook her out of the dream world and into her reality that she was with with out the garden. Through out the book I felt that there was a much deeper meaning behind what I was reading. I found myself constantly questioning what was really going on. I did like the book but I did not love it. How can you love something that is so brutal? I would recommend this book to anyone who is open minded about religion. It is a tender subject and some might view this book as heretical. I decided that I cannot rate this book. Why? I am still very undecided about my true feelings on it. I feel I need time to process it all before I can give it a fair rating.