Eve: A Novel (book review)
As I read my Bible I often have wondered what it would have been like to have been there observing the story as it unfolds — to have seen Moses part the Red Sea, to have seen Elijah on Mt. Carmel opposite the prophets of Baal, to have seen the crucifixion.
For me it’s always good to watch movies about the Bible because it helps bring the
story to life, to help me realize the struggles and issues real people dealt with. Instead of just reading the stories out of the Bible and having to use my limited imagination, I can see what things could have been like. It always gives me a fresh perspective and helps me to better understand what the Bible is saying.
Wm. Paul Young does just that with his latest book Eve: A Novel.
He is the author of The Shack, a controversial yet great book on the love of God and the struggles we have with evil, forgiveness and our own self-righteousness. This time he writes a fictional work about the creation of mankind as seen through the eyes of The Witness, Lilly, a young girl who washed ashore inside a shipping container on an island between our world and the next.
Eve gets the chance to see the creation of humanity. This is a compelling story that gives us a deeper glimpse into the heart of God for humanity. Many times we read the creation story in the Bible but it’s very short without much detail. Young takes the liberty to give us an understanding of what it could have been like. The heart of God, and his great love for humanity, is well depicted in this story.
I believe that some Christians will struggle with the author’s depiction of creation and the storyline. They will cry out that the theology is wrong. But they will not take notice that it’s a novel. As many Christians had issues with The Shack, I am sure they will find issues with Eve: A Novel. For those that liked The Shack, I believe you will love Eve: A Novel. For those that didn’t, well you probably won’t like this one either.
For those willing to read with an open heart and mind they will discover a well-written story that desires to show us the greatness of God’s amazing love, grace and compassion for his creation. It will help you to see the longing God has for man, even after Adam’s fall. It will help you to get a better grasp of our free will and the great risk God took in giving us this gift.
This is certainly not a theology book, nor it is a systemic study of God’s nature. It’s a fictional story. However, from what I understand in my reading about the book, Young took a lot of time studying creation, especially a Jewish perspective. For me, it brought creation alive. It made me feel as if I were there witnessing the creation of humanity out of the very energy and life of the Father, Son and Spirit.
A perfect Being, who needed nothing, willing to create a free-will creation, capable of loving or rejecting Him is masterfully told in a compelling tale of trust, doubt, fear, questions, reassurances, and love.
For me personally, the book helped me to see God’s love in a deeper, more personal way. One part of the book really ministered to me. There is a place in the book where Adam feels lost. God responds by telling Adam that he is never lost because Adam is in God and God is never lost. This spoke to me in a very profound way because of some personal struggles and issues I was facing.
What I liked about the book was the way I could see God’s love for humanity through the vivid imagery the author used to tell the story. I also liked his use of everyone’s struggles, fears, and doubts. His telling of the temptation and the subtleness of the enemy (satan) was a great reminder that the devil is truly subtle and conniving in his desire to destroy humanity.
The main thing I didn’t like about the book was that it took me a while to really get into it. I struggled to get through the first couple of chapters. Unlike The Shack, the story didn’t grab me right off the bat. However, a couple of chapters in I was hooked and didn’t want to put the book down.
Overall, I really liked this book, just not as much as The Shack. I would recommend it as good read.