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Thursday, October 02, 2008
Tosca Lee's Havah ~ Reviewed
Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee Paperback: 368 pages Publisher: NavPress (October 10, 2008) ISBN-13: 978-1600061240
What was it like to be the first woman on earth, to wake to a brand-new creation---and Adam? Why did she become so beguiled by the serpent? In this lyrical retelling of the biblical narrative, Lee brings Eden to life, revealing the dawn of mankind from Eve's viewpoint! My Review:
In the memoir/narrative style that worked so well in Demon, A Memoir, Tosca Lee has returned with her sophomore novel which captures the essence of a woman we all have disparaged a time or two. A woman who traded paradise for a lousy piece of fruit. Havah or Eve, as we know her, is a woman we all resent a little if not a lot, after all the rest of us wouldn't have fallen such obvious temptation. Without her choice we'd be mosquito, disease and death free. A rough price tag.
Enter Lee's mesmerizing word weaving and the epic story that spans a thousand years. From Eve's first blink we witness and almost experience ecstasy, whimsy, beauty and the very presence of God in and through all. The reader is invited to feel the wind, taste the wonder of virgin creation, and delight in God's handiwork. One animal in particular seems to be very wise. He befriends Havah and asks profound questions. His eye is always turned toward her, noticing her beauty, her strength and even the love the Creator bestows upon her. And his beauty is beyond anything she sees in Paradise, a remarkable creature full of reflective, glittering, color and light.
I wept as Eve slowly succumbed to that which looked pleasing, smelled delicious and was able to give knowledge. Surely she wouldn't die. Such a simple act. Death from a taste of the forbidden?
A woman who knew no sorrow found herself plunged into it. With each birth, and each death, Havah begins to despair of ever finding her paradise, or of the promise's fulfillment. Death becomes tangible in every season, every face and every relationship. But, through it all, the death, the despair, the gloom shone the promise. A seed, from her own body, to restore and heal, would enter the now broken world and bring the light with it.
Havah is not only a novel full of beautiful prose spinning, it is a book that causes the reader to pause and consider the state of the soul within. As I read Havah, I was faced with a personal struggle regarding whether I would chose to forgive someone close to me. Havah's path toward death convicted me of my own frailties. In Eve's shoes, I would've fallen.
I recommend this novel to everyone. Be forewarned that the themes and the realities are PG -13 -- from the innocent wonder of the first marriage -- to the decay and sin that enters the world.