Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Review: Adam & Eve

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Adam & Eve
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: Hardcover; 352
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Source: TLC Book Tours
Intended Reading Group: Adult
Genre: General Fiction
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy books with biblical themes.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N 
What Happened To Eden?

The New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance returns with a daring and provocative novel that envisions a world where science and faith contend for the allegiance of a new Adam & Eve.

Hours before his untimely—and highly suspicious—death, world-renowned astrophysicist Thom Bergmann shares his discovery of extraterrestrial life with his wife, Lucy. Feeling that the warring world is not ready to learn of—or accept—proof of life elsewhere in the universe, Thom entrusts Lucy with his computer flash drive, which holds the keys to his secret work.

Devastated by Thom's death, Lucy keeps the secret, but Thom's friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad, contacts Lucy with an unusual and dangerous request about another sensitive matter. Pierre needs Lucy to help him smuggle a newly discovered artifact out of Egypt: an ancient codex concerning the human authorship of the Book of Genesis. Offering a reinterpretation of the creation story, the document is sure to threaten the foundation of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions . . . and there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress it.

Adam & Eve is unlike anything else I've ever read. Part thriller, part exploration of biblical themes, this is a story that I at first thought would be very close to some other books I have already read. (Dan Brown perhaps?) However when I dove into the story, I was instantly blown away by the beautiful writing style and the metaphors on each and every page. Sena Jeter Naslaund doesn't just write the story for the reader, she shows it. 

Let me go back a bit and explain. The first half (to about 2/3) of the book is dedicated to Lucy and Adam's stories. Lucy's husband was a world renowned astrophysicist who met an untimely death. It's not certain whether this was pure accident, but all Lucy knows is that she is now the sole keeper of files that have the ability to overthrow thinking as we know it. Intriguing, am I right? Then we meet Adam. A soldier who has been dumped in the middle of the desert, Adam believes that he is the Adam from biblical times. Out there alone, in his tiny Eden oasis, he believes he is the beginning of the world. The first man to ever have been made. In fact, he's a poor man who has been beaten half to death, but it's a fascinating parallel.

As these two characters meet and interact, I was smitten with the way the story progressed. There are lovely allusions to the story of Adam & Eve, along with topics that make you think beyond that. Basically the entire book is a battle between the idea of creationism, and scientific study. It definitely gets a little heavy handed at times, but I was able to loose myself in the overall story. That is, until the end. Once the first half of the book is over and these characters are ripped from their Eden, things were tough to follow. The already slightly overbearing topics of religion and science were even more apparent, and I didn't feel like following anymore. To be honest, I almost didn't even finish the book.

If I'm being honest, I'm not at all certain how I feel about Adam & Eve. The first half of the book held my attention beautifully, while the second half just descended into confusion for me. Therein lies the problem. I wasn't sure how to rate a book that I loved for half of it. So, I chose this rating. I hope this review accurately explains my views, even though I'm not 100% sure of them myself! If you pick this up to give it a try yourself, let me know what you think!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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