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Book Review - Havah
Created, not born. Her name is Eve. Myth and legend shroud her in mystery. Now hear her story.
She knew this earth when it was perfect—as she was perfect, a creature without flaw. Created by God in a manner like no other, Eve lived in utter peace as the world’s first woman, until she made a choice, one mistake for which all of humanity would suffer. But what did it feel like to be the first person to sin and experience exile; to see innocence crumble so vividly; and to witness a new strange, darker world emerge in its place?
From paradise to exile, from immortality to the death of Adam, experience the epic dawn of mankind through the eyes and heart of Eve—the woman first known as Havah.
Havah by Tosca Lee is an amazing work of art beautifully crafted with a great deal of research done, and an even greater deal of effort put towards its creation. Havah (meaning first woman) is the story of Eve, the first woman in the biblical story of creation, narrated from her perspective from the moment she was created and commanded by her creator to 'wake'. Eve describes her deep connection with Adam, with God her creator, with the animals, and with the entire garden of Eden. Every word during the first few chapters of the book is written in such beautiful prose and rhythmic lyrics, until the moment she and Adam both eat the Apple. Thus, reality sets in, and all begins to fall apart.
It's interesting to see Eve come to life in our eyes, experience her emotions and everything she must've felt at the time, knowing that she had caused the great fall of man. We see the serpent through her eyes, and even understand the raw temptation she felt to taste the forbidden fruit. When reading, you almost wish she wouldn't fall for the serpent's wiles, that she'd recognize the serpent for what it was and turn around and run. But of course, we all know how it all eventually turns out.
Noted that the sins of Adam distanced them both from God and they were cast off from the beautiful garden, however, with the book, it felt like the disconnection from God was a bit more severe than the average Christian would've liked, like God was a deep hazy mystery of some sort. On the other hand, this is understandable in some ways because there are times when we as Christians may feel disconnected from God, especially when we act against his will and are filled with guilt. Given that the book of Genesis doesn't give us a lot to work with regarding Eve, Lee should be applauded for putting a spin on this Biblical truth (not tale) and making it quite an entertaining read.
Another thing that was interesting to note was the time of Shet's (Seth, Adam and Eve's son) birth. The book of Genesis says when Adam was 130 years old, he had another son named Seth, who was like him. In Havah, it seems Adam (and Eve) had Shet when they were 600 years old. An oversight or misplaced timing here, perhaps? One can't tell.
Havah does incorporate some sensuality, hence it's for a mature audience. There's nothing erotic about its contents, however, based on the descriptions of Adam and Havah as they first were (naked), as well as the quite intense connection they both shared (mind, soul and body) before Sin came, some readers may find it more sensual than the average Christian book.
All in all -- a brilliant book, superbly written with great prose and great play on words. If you love to read, and if you absolutely love reading biblical stories, then you should check this one out. Enjoy!
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