Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
“Havah.” The name is a breath before speaking and a fiery exhale.
I am vitality borne into the lung; I am existence whispered on the tongue. Like the breath with which the One sparked life into the adam…
It’s not the first time I’ve read a novel about the Bible’s first woman. But it’s the first time a novel about her intrigued and engrossed me this much.
While reading Havah: The Story of Eve by author Tosca Lee, I was glad to see that Ish and Isha aren’t the more predictable—perhaps, stereotypical—”Adam and Eve” that I’ve seen depicted before. The author doesn’t make this man and woman so much like modern (or Western) thinkers and speakers as to lose the curiousness and antiquity of the story. Havah’s journey is poetically developed here with such keen observation and imagination that the telling is truly impeccable, bringing an age-old account to life without making it too easily…contemporary.
I must say, though, as engrossed as I was in this novel, much of it was so depressing to me that I almost gave up on it a few times. Of course, being banished from your home and losing depth of communion with your environment, your race, and your God is no “happy” predicament, and I’m not a stranger to books that are simultaneously excellent and hard to swallow. But it seemed so long before the hope that Havah’s Adam spoke of early on found much space to convincingly breathe again. After Eden, Havah’s petulance and Adam’s aloofness became a bit much for me, and as I didn’t exactly warm to any of the other characters during the often bleak events, I didn’t enjoy the read as much as I would’ve liked.
Still, I can’t dismiss the value or, again, the impeccability of the read, and I’d certainly recommend it to readers with questioning minds and an appreciation for lyrical literature. This is the first I’ve read by this author, and I’ve every intention of reading more.
Note for my blog readers: not out of keeping with the subject matter, this novel contains some violent and sensual material for mature audiences.