Saturday, August 31, 2013

Adam and Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund (audio)

★ 1/2

"For a moment, I burned with the desire to emblazon Thom's name on history.  But this was Eden, and we were all caught in it's web of non-time.  History was not just insignificant but irrelevant.  What mattered was here and now."

This book was...different.  I have read two of Naslund's other novels: Ahab's Wife and Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, both of which I loved.  It's not that I didn't like this this.  I guess it just wasn't what I was expecting.  I thought that there would more historical fiction, but instead, it was set in the near future, 2017.  

Shortly before her husband Thom's mysterious death, Lucy learns that he has discovered evidence of extraterrestrial life on other planets.  Three years later, Lucy is approached by Thom's astrophysicist friend, Pierre Saad.  He wants Lucy to smuggle a recently discovered codex out of Egypt that reveals new details on the book of Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve.  This is a dangerous mission, as many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim activists are convinced that this document will threaten the foundation of each of their religions.  While traveling with the document, Lucy's plane crashes and she lands on a secluded piece of land in the Middle East.  Here she meets an American soldier named Adam who is convinced that they are in Eden and that Lucy is the "Eve" that he has been waiting for.  Together, they must help each other heal, learn to live of the land, and eventually return to civilization with the codex.

I really liked the idea of this book, but it felt a little too random at times.  There was a lot going on: discovery of extraterrestrial live, war in the Middle East, an old codex of Genesis, a modern-day Eden, a mysterious monkey-like boy, old cave paintings, religious all fit together in someway or another, but it was a stretch at times.  I would have enjoyed more focus on the codex and the story of Adam and Eve and a little less of the "extra stuff."  My favorite parts of the books we the descriptions of the Eden-like paradise that Lucy and Adam found themselves in.  I loved the idea of being surrounded by a beautiful place that provides everything one would ever want or need.  It really put things in prospective!

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