Book Review: Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund

August 10, 2011

About:
“Adam & Eve” by Sena Jeter Naslund is a fictional book which tries to tackle the evolution / creationism debate through its characters and via the storyline. The book encompasses a love story, thriller and mystery in short space.

  • 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
  • ISBN-10: 0061579289

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “Adam and Eve” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.


My rating for Adam and Eve – 4

Buy & Save on “Adam & Eve” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
Ama­zon  | Kindle |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

Thoughts:
“Adam & Eve” by Sena Jeter Naslund is a story about beginnings, reinventing oneself and is full of metaphors about the genesis and Genesis.  Clearly we’ve taken things literally and out of context when it comes to religion and just as well it is easy to do so with this book.

The writing also reminded me of the way the bible is written, it is lyrical with beautiful prose and well written. The Hebrew bible is not full of “thy” and “thou” but is written in simple language, poetic and to a measured beat. I have no idea why the translators chose to translate in a high brow manner and even change some of the meanings – but that’s a different discussion.

I did enjoy the book but I think it would be better enjoyed with multiple readings, getting accustomed to the writing style took me a while, I was almost a quarter way through the book before I got used to it and about half way through before I realized that the book is trying to tell an allegorical story. This is when I gave the plot holes, some huge, a pass.

Actually, the story becomes less interesting when the author leaves the denotative approach and becomes literal. However, to her credit it must be said that the theme of “Genesis”, in terms of adapting, surviving, and reinventing, is always present.

The theme of “Genesis”, not is in origin, but as an event that begins something, is a premise that I can identify with and spoke to me throughout the book. I have lived in several countries and in many cultures: rural, city, suburban and even in a collective for a large part of my life. Each time it was the end of one thing and the beginning of other. Each one was difficult but frankly I feel sorry for those who born and die within a 5 mile radius and never experience anything different. This is especially sad in the United States where young people rarely travel and older ones refuse to experience new cultures even if it means just crossing the city/state line.

When I finished the book and started writing my thoughts a song which I liked by famous poet Naomi Shemer rang throughout my head. The song is about new beginnings and uses the word “genesis” or “bereshit” to signify that we can view each and every morning as a new commencement.

Below are the translated lyrics:

The Party’s Over
And sometimes
the party is over
The lights go out, the trumpet says
goodbye to the violins.
The last watch kisses the third,
to wake up tomorrow morning
and start from the beginning

To wake up tomorrow morning
with a new song in our hearts
to sing it with strength,
to sing it with pain.
To hear the flutes in the free breeze
and to start – from the beginning.

From the beginning,
recreate your world in the morning
the earth, the plants and all the lights
and then from dust, in the likeness of humans
wake up tomorrow morning
and start from the beginning.

Even for you
the celebration is over,
and at midnight
the road home
is hard for you to find.
From the darkness we ask –
to wake up tomorrow morning
and start from the beginning.

“Adam & Eve” is one of those books which I liked more after I finished reading it and thought a bit about the storyline and message.

So tell me, what book have you read that made more of an impression after you read it?

Synopsis:
Lucy Bergmann watched her husband die in, what she thought, was a freak accident. He has entrusted Lucy with his life’s work on, appropriately enough, a memory drive (thumb drive, flash drive)proof of extraterrestrial life which she wears around her neck.

The Bergmann’s friend, Pierre Saad discovers a new version of the biblical book “Genesis”. Together with the proof of extraterrestrial life these discoveries threaten Judaism, Christianity and Islam which makes Lucy and Pierre targets. When Lucy’s plane crushes, she finds herself in the Garden of Eden with an American solider named Adam who believes she is his Eve.

Buy & Save on “Adam & Eve” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
Ama­zon  | Kindle |Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK

Give­away

Rules:

  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “Adam & Eve”.
  • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
  • Must be a US/Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Monday August 16, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using Random.org
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked
  • Please con­sider join­ing the FACEBOOK BOOK GIVEAWAY group

Congratulations: wyantebay@
TLC Book Tour for “Adam & Eve”:

Tuesday, July 26: Wordsmithonia
Wednesday, July 27: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, July 28: Life In Review
Monday, August 1: A Fanatic’s Book Blog
Tuesday, August 2: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 10th: The Scarlet Letter
Wednesday, August 10: Man of La Book
Thursday, August 11: Rundpinne
Thursday, August 11: Wandering Thoughts of a Scientific Housewife
Date TBD: Much Madness is Divinest Sense

Zohar – Man of La Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour pro­mo­tion.
Article first published as Book Review: Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund on Blogcritics.

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BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read “Adam & Eve”? If so link up your review below:

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10 Comments

  • Leslie @ Tic Toc August 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Hello Zohar,
    I thought I would stop by to see what you are up to. I am not sure what I think about the above book, but it does sound quite interesting. I am impressed with the way you were able to dechiper the prose and get to the heart of the story. You always do a great job of reading between the lines. Nice review, and nice job as always.
    Have a wonderful day.

    • zohar August 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Leslie, I actually “deciphered” most of that stuff after I read the story

  • Amy August 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Adam & Eve intrigues me but I’m not sure how much I’ll enjoy reading it. I really enjoyed your review and love how you connected it with Naomi Schemer’s poem/song ~ very inspired!
    This sounds like a good book for a readalong!

    Thank you!

    • zohar August 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks for the comment Amy. I think that it would be a great readalong book.

  • Ryan August 11, 2011 at 1:44 am

    This is one of those books that I think I’m enjoying less, with each passing day since I’ve finished it. I loved it when the where in the garden, but once they left, the messaging got a little too heavy handed for me and I no longer cared about it. When I wrote the review, I was still in that it was quirky, fun stage. Now I’m not so sure anymore.

    • zohar August 11, 2011 at 7:47 am

      Thanks for the comment Ryan, I agree the story becomes less interesting once it becomes more literal.

  • jason fiske August 16, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    We Die Alone impressed me more after reading. True patriots fighting the Nazi’s in Greenland during WW2.

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours August 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I know what you mean about possibly needing to read this one again in order to really “get it” – it sounds like a very unique story.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  • teressa oliver February 1, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Sorry I missed this giveaway. I am not really sure what I make of the synopsis of this one. It’s one of those that make you just really want to know how the story goes. I am from a small town in Oklahoma and know what you mean about people not traveling outside of their area. My state is so rural that if you are outside of Tulsa or Oklahoma City, it could take you hours to get to medical attention. A lot of people never even leave the state. Fortunately for me, I joined the Navy when I was younger, but since have returned. But am ready to move to England this summer. Thanks for the review

    • Zohar - Man of la Book February 1, 2012 at 8:36 am

      It was a strange book, absolutely. Soemhow it all came together though but you had to pay attention.
      Good luck in England.

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