Friday, November 26th, 2010
The Short Take:
I read and loved Ahab’s Wife quite some time ago and so pounced on this book when I saw it. Though very different, it is maybe even more rewarding. I put the qualifier in there because this one is more magical reality (a la Gabriel Marcia Marquez or Alice Hoffman — and, yes, I know how different they are). Plus, it has a fair amount of religious thinking. I really liked it a lot. But that combo isn’t for everyone,
I might have handed it all out there with my not-so-Short Take. At first I was a touch confused about Adam’s Eden — where was it and what was it; and how it all related to the experiences of Lucy, the grieving widow of an astrophysicist. Not to worry: The author did an excellent job of magically pulling it all together.
The conflict in this novel comes not only from the confused feelings of the protagonists (the afore mentioned Adam and Lucy) but also from the actions of religious fundamentalists including Jews, Muslims, and Christians driven by fear and repression.
While much of the book is very dreamy and thoughtful, you will also find the thrill of danger and pursuit.
Lovely writing, danger, science, faith, rebirth, even some paleolithic cave art — this was a perfect combination for me.
A Little Plot:
Lucy’s husband discovers that there is life elsewhere in the universe — then dies violently before he can share the news. Adam, an American soldier, is brutalized and left for dead in the Middle East, but wakes up in what appears to be Eden.
Lucy winds up in that same miraculous place when her mission to transport ancient documents with an alternative reading of Genesis goes down in flames.
While the two of them heal… and change, fundamentalists work together to find and destroy both the evidence of extraterrestrial life and those ancient documents.
I couldn’t find a website for the author, but if you can click here for some additional information courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Alabama.