Recently my wife Jessie read a book that I was sent for review. Her thoughts on it were great and so she’s making a guest appearance here at sensualjesus.
Eve is a novel–but don’t let that throw you for a loop. Like Richard Rohr says, “It’s all true, and some of it really happened.” The fact is: I couldn’t put it down from the instant I started. Elissa Elliott, the author, did a wonderful job of painting a picture of who Eve could have been and the struggles her family could have gone through. The book is written from the perspectives of Eve and 3 of her daughters, Naava, Aya and Dara. Its story line alternates between flashbacks to life with Elohim (G-d…) in the Garden of Eden and then the journey that transpired after being tossed out. Honestly, and maybe surprisingly, I found myself easily relating to the woman of Eve and inwardly nodding, “Well yeah, I’ve also felt that way before”. As a wife, Eve argued with her husband, Adam. He could be annoying and push her buttons. Sometimes the attraction wasn’t there. But they continued to choose each other. As a mother, Eve was often times disappointed in her children’s actions and choices. She did and said hurtful things out of anger. She played favorites. She blamed herself for the way they turned out. But they were hers, so she loved and forgave them. Ultimately, Eve doubted God’s very existence, even when he had been so real to her in the Garden. She was angry at his absence. She often times lived in the past and what “could have been”, instead of dealing with the present here and now. She became depressed and tired. She had regrets. But she once again chose to love, she chose to forgive, and she chose to have faith. In the end, what makes this a great book is the same reason why the creation/Genesis narrative is a great story—because it’s True. It describes something that we all can identify with, but don’t want to identify too closely with, so we use stories to glance at it out of the corner of our eye. I walk away thinking about the incredible word “choice”, and how I’ve never really associated it with other words like “grace” or “love” and most of all, “faith”. But maybe faith and volition have a lot more to do with each other than I’ve thought. Like most folks who have been married can attest about love, faith also may be less of a feeling or a presence, and far more of a decision to move forward. I would definitely recommend it.