Friday, March 13, 2009

Book Review--"Havah" by Tosca Lee


I wrote my review of Tosca's first book, Demon: A Memoir, without taking time to think. I couldn't stop--I was overcome, much in the way Clay was, to get my thoughts on paper.

But with Havah, I found I needed to be a bit introspective first. I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, and I've been revisiting it ever since, pondering what I would write that could do it justice.

The story of Adam and Eve is always told like some kind of simplified tale, and we think of them as these awful people who disobeyed God and ruined the universe for the rest of us. "Yeah, she ate that fruit--she started it all!!" Even Adam said that.

But are we being fair?

Havah tells Eve's side of the story. It's not a justification of her actions by any means. If anything, you will realize the despair she must have felt. I mourned with her while I read this book. Not just because of the hardship she faced, suddenly thrust into a newly fallen world where the animals she had so loved were tearing the flesh from each other in attempt to survive. Or the sorrow of having one son brutally murder another--Cain was her son, and she loved him.

What struck the hardest was the intense regret she felt for losing a connection with her Adonai! Her Adonai, not just Adam's.

Eve's story is only a few paragraphs in the Old Testament, but her life lasted hundreds of years. She bore child afer child, and became the mother of all humans. She witnessed cities being built by her descendents, and lived with the knowledge that hundreds of people who were the children of her children of her children resided all around her.

I felt completely connected to Eve throughout the book, because, as I've mentioned before, Tosca Lee's characterization skills are wicked brilliant. She made me relive the joy of new motherhood in a way I had never felt before--imagine holding the very first baby ever born in your arms!

Eve's life must have been amazing. And Havah will give you a glimpe into what it may have been like for the first woman on earth, the one who started it all--both death and birth. She has taken the blame for thousands of years, and we all look back on that day with rebuke on our lips, but remember...

...with that one mistake her life was changed for eternity, too.

3 comments:

Shawna Williams said...

Excellent review Kat. I kind of think I'm a little scared to read it. I know that I bear the pain of my children when they are hurt or disappointed. All of mankind though? Overwhelming! I'd never taken the time to consider that before. I am going to read it. I'll probably need to buy a bunch of tissue first.

I've got to get up another post on my blog. My mind is blank, and we caught the mouse, so I'm not sure what in the world to write about. I suppose I could marvel about the ferocity with which teenage boys consume pizza. Or, write about my son nearly burning down our chicken barn. That was exciting.

Michelle Sutton said...

You did the book justice for sure. It's the best book I read in 2008 when it came to spiritual impact and stuff like that. It really made me think.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Wow! Deep! I've been meaning to get Tosca Lee's books! I'm off from work this week! Maybe I'll be heading over the the bookstore to buy my copies! Great review!