I was on vacation in beautiful, sunny Puerto Rico in the middle of February. As luck would have it, the flu struck me on the first day of vacation. Fortunately, I had an ARC of Eden by Brennan McPherson on my phone. I had planned to read it beside the pool instead of in my hotel room. Despite the typical, miserable symptoms, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book in my hotel room. As I was reading about the Garden of Eden, from time to time, I’d look out over the tops of the palm trees swaying in the breeze, and the bright blue sky above the tropical beach.
The book ended way before the flu or my vacation, so I downloaded two more books by the same author. First, I read Flood, The Story of Noah and the Family Who Raised Him, then I read Babel: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man. I love the author’s writing style. I’m a fan, and I look forward to reading more from this gifted storyteller. I wonder what’s coming next.
As I am writing this review, everything is being canceled. Social distancing is the phrase of the day. Perhaps it is a good time for people to catch up on some reading, and for authors to do some writing. Historical fiction, especially Biblical historical fiction can help put the human experience into perspective.
It was my pleasure to read an ARC of Eden by Brennan McPherson. The version I read had not yet been proofread, but it looked finished to me.
You can find my reviews and enter a Giveaway at https://www.itsoag.com/reviews
Here are my reviews:
Eden, by Brennan McPherson
The Story of Adam and Eve
Adam stands by the fire, with Enoch, a descendant. God has chosen Enoch to document Adam’s story, “for posterity sake,” since Adam has neglected to tell his story to his family. Periodically, throughout the book, Adam and Enoch return. Sometimes Enoch nudges Adam to continue, and sometimes Enoch asks Adam questions, like in an interview.
Adam has just recently lost his wife, Eve, mother of all. The author presents most of Eden from Adam’s point of view, in the first person. As a reader, I found this point-of-view very pleasing. I could almost feel what it was like―to walk within the Garden paradise.
What I love about Brennan McPherson’s work is that it makes the greatest story ever told so much more accessible. A modern reader seldom needs to stop and wonder, what does that word mean? It sounds current, and yet it feels like the beginning of time.
McPherson’s writing ability brings the senses to bear. Imagine beginning life as a full-grown man, rather than being born an infant. Imagine experiencing the sights, scents, sounds, tastes, and feel of the world all at once, for the first time, as an adult. The author presents this beautifully, and eloquently, and the similes and metaphors within Eden add to the value of the prose.
The relationship between Adam and Eve is complicated and is a major part of this book. As they begin to experience difficulties, Adam says, “And the space between my intentions and her understanding was the beginnings of a shattered world.” I think it is fair to summarize by saying they weren’t thoroughly kindred spirits. Later, Adam explains, “We coexisted without striking sparks in each other’s eyes.” The wisdom of the Bible shines through as the author presents Adam’s angst, “For loneliness is the deepest pain the human heart can endure.” The author also brings the characters to life by revealing their thoughts and feelings. Here’s an example, “…since Eve’s passing last year, he had lived alone feeling the weight of a life filled with regrets.”
The author expertly uses facial expressions, body language, and describes non-verbal communications. Take this sentence, for example, “Exhaustion lay heavy across my shoulders, but every time I nearly fell asleep, anxiety woke me like hands around my throat.” I might suggest there was a little too much lip chewing happening in this book.
I’ll leave the good versus evil for the reader to experience.
This re-telling significantly adds to the experience and understanding of the story of Adam and Eve, and makes you feel like you are there at the beginning of time.
I loved it so much I read the whole series.
Flood, The Story of Noah and the Family Who Raised Him, by Brennan McPherson
The Great Flood
Here is a story almost everyone knows, brilliantly told. A story this significant deserves a detailed telling. This wonderful work by Brennan McPherson is a must-read.
Babel: The Story of the Tower and the Rebellion of Man, by Brennan McPherson
Another fantastic book by Brennan McPherson. This is Biblical fiction at its best. An epic battle of good versus evil. Strongly recommended.