Friday, March 14, 2014
The bare bones of story of Adam and Eve is universally known. God made Adam. God fashioned Eve from Adam's rib. Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden along with the rest of creation, eating fruits and nuts. Two trees were in the garden along with the rest of the vegetation: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had one "don't" in the few things God ordered them--don't eat of that second tree.
Put this in the hands of master story-teller Tosca Lee, and suddenly it comes alive. She plays with what life might've been like in the garden, takes a stab at the reason the two violated God's law, she presents what might have happened after they were evicted from the garden. She covers over six hundred years of Eve's life in 364 pages. She did an amazing amount of research for something that seems beyond research, and she presented a story that, in her signature style, is feasible.
Her ability to make unsympathetic characters sympathetic (like Lucian, in Demon: a Memoir) and present realistic, feasible scenarios, like in Havah, is the primary reason I'm scared to touch her most recent: Iscariot: a Novel of Judas. I have no desire to feel sorry for that man.
In Havah, Tosca addresses two questions throughout the book: "What if" and "How." She said in her ACFW class in Indianapolis last year that the one question starting all this was, "What if you loved the man in your life because he was the only one on Earth?" There were several other "what-if" questions addressed too, along with the "hows" of how did they discover to make linen? How did they learn to work sheep's wool? How did they learn to cook? Remember, Adam and Eve were the first to do absolutely everything.
If I had to pick one thing I really loved about the book, it would be Eve's character arc--and there is a definite arc, from creation to her death over 600 years later. If you read this, study the changes made in her personality. I think you'll agree with me.