Havah, by Tosca Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Put aside the flannel-graph figures of the Adam and Eve, and the coloring pages of the Garden of Eden. This book fills in the details behind the well-known Sunday-school story, from the creation of Eve until almost a millennium later. Beginning at the moment that God ("the One") calls out "Wake!" to the woman he's just taken from Adam's side, Eve tells us the joys, pains, victories, and mistakes of her life.
The first part of the book describes life in the garden, showing us how the perfection of that world really looked. The animals and humans communicated with each other without the need of spoken words. Beautiful sights and sounds made up the paradise that housed these first inhabitants, and the author's descriptions were both detailed and poetic. (At this point let me caution future readers that some content is a bit mature. The marital relationship was handled delicately but with more candor than would be appropriate for teenagers.)
Hearing the story from Eve's perspective made so many points come alive, such as the first sin. I felt as if I was there with her as she neared the tree and fell into the serpent's trap. And even though I knew what she'd do, I was begging her not to. I felt the emotions along with Eve throughout the exile, in the adjustments she and Adam had to make in living outside of paradise, and the stages of life and death that she learned about. The child-like innocence she possessed and the fact that she'd lived in a perfect state, gave her a unique perspective.
As the story and the years go on, sin and its effects on the world are more and more prevalent. I was reminded of how truly sad this life is, in comparison to what the Creator intended.
Even knowing the important details in the Biblical account, I never became bored. I loved the way the author delved into the interesting extra things that the Bible doesn't mention. For example, how did the exile play out? How did Adam and Eve learn to survive after the exile? What did the mark on Cain look like?
The story showed things such as the beginnings of idol worship, the evolution of arts, how the Fall affected Adam and Eve's relationship. And none of these elaborations took away from the facts I know from the Bible. If anything, I finished this book with a greater understanding of God's love, the effects of sin in our lives, and how beautiful the second Adam's sacrifice was in reconciling us to the One.