EVE by Wm. Paul Young

Mesu Andrews Book Reviews

Book Description

eveFrom the back cover:

Eve is a bold, unprecedented exploration of the Creation narrative, true to the original texts and centuries of scholarship—yet with breathtaking discoveries that challenge traditional beliefs about who we are and how we’re made. Eve opens a refreshing conversation about the equality of men and women within the context of our beginnings, helping us see each other as our Creator does—complete, unique, and not constrained by cultural rules or limitations.
When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the next, John the Collector finds a young woman inside—broken, frozen, and barely alive. With the aid of Healers and Scholars, John oversees her recovery and soon discovers that her genetic code connects her to every known race. No one would guess what her survival will mean…
No one but Eve, Mother of the Living, who calls her “daughter” and invites her to witness the truth about her own story—indeed, the truth about us all.
As The Shack awakened readers to a personal, non-religious understanding of God, Eve will free us from faulty interpretations that have corrupted human relationships since the Garden of Eden.

My Review

☺ – 1 Smile

Let me begin by saying, I would normally not review a book unless I can give it at least four smiles (or stars). However, since I promoted this book so highly on my Facebook page—before reading it—I feel a responsibility to tell my readers that this isn’t the typical biblical fiction novel I normally recommend. Eve is speculative fiction (science fiction) that weaves in an account of Creation that tests the finer points of mature theology. I would never give this book to a new believer. It is only for those well-grounded in their understanding of redemption, sin, and the Trinity—and even those folks will find it a topic for spirited debate.

Perhaps that’s Mr. Young’s goal. Very much like The Shack (which I enjoyed immensely), Wm. Paul Young uses some shocking images to make this book remarkable—and anyone who reads it will definitely remark about it…Adam is created as an infant. God has breasts and nurses him. Adam grows pregnant for nine months and “delivers” Eve. These are some of the blatant liberties taken with the biblical text.

However, the subtle theological challenges are perhaps even more dangerous. According to the story, Adam is tempted into sin before they eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It’s Adam who leads Eve into sin. It’s Adam’s idea to provide the blood sacrifice for sin. And after sinning, it’s Adam who leaves Eden alone, while Eve remains in the Garden with God for a time. The story, the process of Creation, and even the Person(s) of the Trinity feel more like propaganda for the author’s agenda than the biblical story I know as Truth.

But this is a fictional rendering, a novel, right? Shouldn’t I (of all people) give the author grace to add creative fiction to a biblical story? Authors in the Christian fiction market are responsible for the theological messages of their stories regardless of genre or topic. Biblical fiction authors have the added—and weighty—responsibility to maintain the Truth of God’s Word in their storylines. As novelists, we may invent characters’ hair styles and eye color. We may even make honest mistakes in research and get dates or locations wrong. But as Christian novelists, we must take great care to present rock solid Truth when presenting the foundational tenets of God’s Word.

I did, however, take away many good things from this novel. The pearls of wisdom that drop from characters’ lips can only come from an author who has experienced adversity and been refined by it. Mr. Young’s writing reflects wisdom gleaned from an overcomer’s life, and his characters traverse the full spectrum of emotions.

One of the joys of reading this book on Kindle (and perhaps other ebook formats) was the highlight feature that allowed me to see what others found helpful. Here is a quote that was highlighted by many:

“You have freedom to trust and the freedom to turn. This is the profound and sometimes painful mystery of community and love.” (Chapter 17 – Regret)

This book offers many such nuggets of gold amid the biblical hiccups. If you can enjoy the nuggets and filter the dross, you might enjoy Wm. Paul Young’s rendition of Eve

HavahIf, however, you’d like a more traditional retelling of the biblical story of Creation, Havah by Tosca Lee would probably be more to your liking.

Happy reading!