It is the worlds oldest tale: the story of Eve, her husband, Adam, and the tragedy that would overcome her sons . In this luminous debut novel, Elissa Elliott puts a powerful twist on biblical narrative, boldly reimagining Eves journey. At once intimate and universal, timely and timeless, this unique work of fiction blends biblical tradition with recorded history and dazzling storytelling. And as it does, Eve comes to life in a way religion and myth have never allowedin a novel that explores the very essence of love, motherhood, faith, and humanity.
In their world they are alone a family haunted by banishment, struggling for survival in a harsh new land. A woman who has borne and buried children, Eve sees danger shadowing those she loves, while her husband drifts further and further from the man he was in the Garden, blinded by his need to rebuild a life outside of Eden. One daughter, alluring, self-absorbed Naava, turns away from their beliefs. Another, crippled, ever-faithful Aya, harbors a fateful secret, while brothers Cain and Abel become adversaries, and Dara, the youngest, is chosen for a fate of her own.
In one hot, violent summer, by the shores of the muddy Euphrates, strangers arrive on their land. New gods challenge their own. And for Eve, a time of reckoning is at hand. The woman who once tasted the forbidden fruit of paradise sees her family unravelingas brother turns on brother, culminating in a confrontation that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.
From a womans first awakening to a mothers innermost hopes and fears, from moments of exquisite tenderness to a climax of shocking violence, Eve takes us on a breathtaking journey of the imagination.
A novel that has it allromantic love, lust, cruelty, heroism, envy, sacrifice, murderEve: A Novel of the First Woman is a work of mesmerizing literary invention.
"An imaginative and deeply felt debut Exotic setting aside, this could be any contemporary family plagued by a manic-depressive son, a sulky teenager and a father who is shockingly deficient in the wisdom expected . Highly original." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Elliott makes biblical fiction her own with a female perspective that emphasizes emotional turmoil, sensual experience and an impressive range of imagery that brings to life daily life in the beginning." - Publishers Weekly.
"Starred Review. Anita Diamant's The Red Tent became a huge hit, and Eve will likely become as widely read and discussed while raising eyebrows for its nontraditional depiction of its titular character." - Library Journal.
"Eve is a beautiful novel, richly imagined. Elissa Elliott has written about Eve in such a new way, and by exploring her heart, conflicts, desires, and choices, she illuminates our own. I loved the intimate tone, and although I know how the story goes, I found myself reading on the edge of my seat. This novel is irresistible, and if it were an apple, I would have to eat it." - Luanne Rice.
"Elissa Elliott's debut is Biblical fiction at its absolute best. Like Anita Diamant and Marek Halter, Elliott reaches across the millennia to embrace a woman whose story has never fully been told. A thought-provoking and gripping read, Elliott has triumphed with her wholly original Eve: A Novel of the First Woman. - Michelle Moran, author of Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen.
"Eve is an enchanting novel, rich with emotion and power. Elliott's masterful prose brilliantly brings an ancient world to vibrant life. A truly remarkable debut, thought provoking and intriguing." - India Edghill, author of The Queenmaker and Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba.
"Elliott has crafted a powerful story, beautifully told, of a family in crisis. Her voice is sure, her prose lyrical, her characters memorable." - Jeanne Kalogridis, author of I, Mona Lisa and The Borgia Brides.
"In this novel hauntingly beautiful poetic language, a powerful imagination and extensive scholarship combine. Together they weave tender love and dark passions, suspense and drama into a richly textured, colorful and strikingly beautiful tapestry. Eve is an intense and fascinating read that will keep you spellbound until the last engrossing page." - Eva Etzioni-Halvey, author of The Song of Hannah, The Garden of Ruth, and The Triumph of Deborah.
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Rated of 5
Gail Eve The concept of writing the story of Adam and Eve as fiction based on the biblical account is what intrigued me to read this book. However, it didn't meet my expectations. I feel it wasn't well written and could have been done better. I'm sure many readers would enjoy the book in spite of my observations.
Rated of 5
Nancy C. Cullinan Book groups will love it Eve is a wonderful and lovely story. Elissa Elliott has written about Eve in a way never imagined before.
Eve and her life burst from the pages, and I was "hooked" immediately. I flew through the pages, and the story ended much too soon. Now I'm beginning a second read -- this time much more slowly as I savor Elissa Elliott's beautiful language and storytelling.
I'm sure Book Groups will love this book. There is much to discuss, debate and imagine!
Rated of 5
Tricia Spellbinding and full of emotion. I've longed to know more about Eden myself. What was it like to be cast out? What was the garden? How did they survive afterward? Elissa Elliott's book tells you what might have been. I found it mesmerizing and once I picked it up, could not put it down. Each character was finely drawn and the plot, that of a early family surviving on their own and then thrown into a world of strange and exotic practices, practically leaped off the page.
Highly recommend. You won't walk away the same.
Rated of 5
Patricia What a woman! From the first paragraph of the prologue, Elissa Elliotts novel Eve grabbed me and did not let me go until the end. Even then the story and the world of Eve, Adam, Cain, Abel, Naava, Aya, Dara, and Jarden haunted me for days to come. This is a beautiful and powerful first novel. Elliotts choice of words and language are unique and gripping. This is the story we have always wondered about, and Elissa Elliotts imagination has filled in the blanks and created an Eve who is a many sided woman, often loving and generous and often whiny and full of blame for others. It is Aya, the second daughter, who, because of her position in the family, is able to show us all of the other characters clearly.
I was reminded of The Poisonwood Bible with the multiple womens viewpoint while reading this story. Elliott is a talented new novelist and I will watch for other novels from her in the future. In the meantime I will hold on to this novel to reread at my leisure.
Rated of 5
Gail Ancient Tale Comes to Life After Eden -- what? Congratulations to Elissa Elliott for her imaginative fleshing out of the Expulsion story. My book club would relish the characters of Eve and her daughters -- each speaking from her own unique perspective, age and ability.
Rated of 5
Lauran Story of the first dysfunctional family There were three main themes in Eve. First, it was a timeless story about a very dysfunctional family, with an emphasis on motherhood. The authors telling of the complexities and emotions of motherhood I found touching. Second, while it was a story about struggling with faith emphasized not only by Eves desire to understand her expulsion from the Garden but also through the addition of the Mesopotamians and their worship of other and multiple Gods, I felt the story really spoke more to consequences. And third, accepting and making the best of ones fate vs. living in the past, the latter of which cripples Eve.
The story was interesting and easy to read. However, I do not think the author painted Eve in a positive light. I suppose as a woman I expected to be inspired by Eve. Instead she annoyed me with her selfishness, naiveté, whininess and inability to move forward with her life until losing her most favorite child. I also struggled with the arrogance and selfishness of Naava. She felt more like a plot device to add drama and tension to the story than a person with any redeeming value. I loved the independence and spirit of Aya, her middle daughter, but still could not believe that she too could be as mean as the others (and in doing so set off a whole chain of events). In fact, except for Abel and Jacan, they were all fairly selfish and mean to each other and that grew tedious after awhile.
Elissa Elliott is a former high school teacher. She is a contributing writer to Books & Culture and has optioned her first screenplay. She and her husband, Daniel Elliott, live in Minnesota. This is her first novel.
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