I’ve read the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible more times than I can count. I’ve known it since I was in diapers; I’ve been able to recite it like a fairy tale. Until now, it was blasé–something that I knew held important meaning for my life, but meaning I never stopped long to consider.
After reading Havah, I will never look at the first five chapters of Genesis the same. I have never been so emotionally impacted by a book–not that I can remember. The author made the Garden of Eden, the relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God, the love and emotionally intimacy shared between Adam and Eve before the fall, so real–so relevant to me–that for the first time, I realized how devastating the whole thing was–in a literal sense, not just in some abstract, “that-happened-to-someone-else” kind of way.
Before I finished the last chapters, I was trying not to cry. Afterwards, when the last page was closed, I did cry. I finished the book in bed, and I cried (as quietly as possible, so my husband wouldn’t panic!) until I fell asleep. Because even though the true details of history certainly must have differed from those in this book, the overall story is true, and it’s our story–the story of all humankind.
I don’t expect that every, or even most, readers of Havah will be touched the way I was, but I do know that in reading this book, I was able to grieve for what was lost at the Fall between God and man.
Havah attempts to tell the beginning of our story; I’m so thankful that for believers and followers of Jesus, there is a triumphant ending that remains to be seen.
What I Thought Could Have Been Better
There were a few things about the story that were a stretch or that seemed unlikely. For example, in the book, when people saw the mark God placed on Kayin (Cain), they supernaturally saw their own flaws and failures, so they did not harm him. I did think this was a genius idea, however, as well as several other of the artistic liberties the author took in writing this story.
I didn’t like the almost unhealthy bond between Kayin and Havah (or between Adam and one of his daughters, for that matter), but again, the way the author wove it into the story “worked.” It made sense that Kayin might get upset enough to kill his own brother with the hopes of his mother weighing heavy on his shoulders.
I personally don’t feel that Eve ever expected to be able to return to the garden, as was her lifelong goal in this book. While I can see where she might have taken hope in seeing the day when her seed would crush the serpent’s head, I feel Adam and Eve were fully aware that they’d sinned, and as a result, things could never go back to the way they were.
There were several details in the book that I didn’t feel were compatible with a pre-Flood world. There were rainstorms, the people ate meat, and they also aged very quickly considering they still had hundreds of years to live.
All that being said, I don’t think anybody could have done a better job crafting a story like this; there are just so many details we can’t know.
This is an adult book; I wouldn’t recommend it for young people, mostly due to sensual content and suggestion.
I give this book 4 stars.
One star – No comment!
Two stars – Couldn’t get into it.
Three stars – Pretty good.
Four stars – Great read!
Five stars – Worth reading more than once.