Adam and Eve
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Adam and Eve

2.76 of 5 stars 2.76  ·  rating details  ·  862 ratings  ·  251 reviews

What happened to Eden?

The New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance returns with an audacious and provocative novel that envisions a world where science and faith contend for the allegiance of a new Adam & Eve

Sena Jeter Naslund masterfully uses her craft to lay bare the poignant complexity of humanity—the passion and despair,

Published September 28th 2010 by William Morrow (first published 2010)
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
One-sentence summary: Widow Lucy hides secret Biblical document from evil Abrahamic fundamentalists, meets mentally ill man, saves document, man, self. World?

Did... this book remind me of Dan Brown, Kate Mosse, and Paulo Coelho?: Yes, in a bad way.

Did... I talk about this book non-stop for the last two days?: Yes, so I suppose in that sense, it was a good book. I just talked smack about it, though.

Review: I didn't like this book -- but I should have. It has all the elements I typically enjoy:...more
Deborah Gray
I could have wept with disappointment at this book. When you consider that Ahab's Wife is one of my favourites, how much I wanted to like this! How hard I tried! I even gave it an extra star, just because I know this author is capable of so much more. I hate to disparage any author. I know well the time, effort, perseverence and sheer talent it takes to get a book into publication. Yet, all I could think during the interminable reading of this book is that she must have embarked on a long, long,...more
This book included a collection of very, very random things - a blue man, war, nudity, religious conflict, extraterrestrial life, a cheating spouse, a feral boy, cave paintings, sacred codex, a memory stick, a woman who is pilot, seamstress, artist and therapist, death by piano, fashion, a stone vulva, etc. It all comes together through the book, but not very well...and in a hard-to-believe way.

I loved "Ahab's Wife" and was lukewarm with "Abundance", this was the end of a downwards trend. I don'...more
I picked up this book from the library expecting an interesting read from a well-regarded novelist. I do enjoy books that analyze biblical themes and I am open-minded about the different perspectives and forms this can take. This book fell far short of my expectations and easily lands into the category of the worst books I have ever read. It suffers from inconsistent tone, flat characters,unconvincing dialogue, and a plot devoid of any real suspense or surprise.
The section of the novel that focu...more
I will start by saying that Ahab's Wife is one of my favorite books, and my high expectations for this book might be the source of my loathing. It is rare that I choose a book and don't end up liking it, but I was so tired of this book by the time it was over! It has some very elegant and beautiful writing, but there was so much schmeared into each paragraph that to me it felt overly self-indulgent, contrived and self-important. The plot of the book could be condensed into a chapter (and I'm not...more
I hate to keep repeating the same comments, but the 'idea' of this story intrigued me, but ultimately turned out to be extremely strange, and unsatisfying.

I think my biggest problem with fiction/sci-fi books is that I was was weaned on "The Twilight Zone", "The Andromeda Strain", "Outer Limits", etc. The writers/storytellers, in the 1960's, were on burgeoning, unexplored territories, and put forth their thought-provoking ideas in such a way that I could not help but be drawn in. I would sit glu...more (Kevin Bayer)
I'm not sure what to say about this book. The description sounded interesting so I gave it a chance (the description gave it a kind of Da Vinci Code kind of feel). It just didn't do it for me though.

A scientist discovers proof of extraterrestrial life. A discovery in the Holy Land of an ancient text that contradicts the biblical book of Genesis. A group from all three major religions that will stop at nothing to keep those secret. ...and a man (Adam) and woman (Lucy) that end up naked in a dese...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sena Jeter Nashlund’s latest, Adam & Eve defies description. Part adventure, part mystery, part romance, part thriller, part allegory; a story about religion, art, science, rebirth, and creation, it is nearly impossible to summarize. Due to the fact the Adam & Eve has a trilleresque feel the reader will feel compelled to race to the finish, to the conclusion of the story, however the beauty and true skill of Nashlund’s writing is in what is left unsaid, or better yet, unexplained. An exa...more
This book is a little odd. I wouldn't recommend it for Sena Jeter Naslund's fans of straight historical fiction. It felt a little disjointed at the beginning and it's a strange mix of contemporary and speculative fiction with forays into art, religion, and a kind of thriller which I thought was the most unworkable part of the story. I like books that make me think about the big picture and I enjoyed the development of the characters. The portion of the book set in modern day Eden was the best pa...more
This might actually be the worst book I've ever read.

Against my will, I liked Ahab's Wife. I liked it a lot, actually. So I read Abundance, and that was just so-so, but then Adam & Eve came out and I thought I'd give Sena Jeter Naslund another chance.

What the hell!

It was truly insulting to my intelligence. It tried very hard to be allegorical, and the characters were absurd, and the plot sucked ASS. At some point it devolved into a Dan Brown-esque thriller of illiterate proportions. It calle...more
One of the oldest stories ever told, that of Adam and Eve, gets a unique remake of sorts in Sena Jeter Naslund's Adam & Eve.

Lucy is in Amsterdam for a scientific conference with her husband Thom, an astrophysicist of renown, who tells Lucy that he has proof of extraterrestrial life. He gives Lucy a memory stick that contains all of his evidence.

Thom is killed by a falling piano, and Lucy is devastated. Still grieving her loss three years later, Lucy is invited to welcome scientists to a conf...more
In 2017, Lucy Bergmann is walking to meet her husband for lunch when right before her, a piano that was being hoisted up a window falls and kills him. She is traumatized and floats around in grief for about three years. In 2020 she is invited to speak at an event honoring her husband and while on this trip she meets a scientist who was also acquainted with her husband. He asks her to transport a scroll that is of great importance to the world because its revelations will forever alter the three...more
"I hope Adam & Eve will not be read as a straight realistic novel. It moves in metaphoric ways. In some ways it is a sort of fable, though I stop short of letting the animals talk. To enjoy the novel, don't expect brick-and-mortar logic. Hang loose and swing imaginatively into the events and settings. The story is partly a dance of ideas."

The quote above is from the P.S. interview with Seta Jeter Naslund at the back of the copy of the book that I received, and it is a quote that helped me i...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Lucy Bergmann's husband Thom, is a brilliant physicist who is searching for life on other planets in the near future. He is killed in the opening chapter of the book, and we're led to believe that religious nuts who didn't want his discoveries published might have been behind his death. A few years later, Lucy herself is being pursued by a group of religious nuts as she transports an ancient document that will cast a new light on the story of Genesis.

I do love Sena Jeter Naslund. I really do. I...more
So completely unsatisfying. I was ready to give up about two thirds of the way through, but figured I should finish since I'd already invested that much time in it. It reads like...nothing else I can think of. It's intentionally over the top at points - a man killed by a falling piano, two Americans stranded in an Eden-esque garden in the Middle East, ancient cave paintings, plane crashes, you get the picture. But none of those elements ever really come together to create any meaningful whole. I...more
David Fox
Lost in the Garden of Eden

Amidst a cluttered landscape of radical creationists & paranoid rabbis living in the shadows of martyred relatives, Naslund's characters lamely weave a twisted tale of Adam searching for Eve in Lewis Carrol's Wonderland. Yes, this book is as warped as this opening paragraph. Naslund attempts to blend Dan Brown mystical elements with new age treatments of Genesis interspersed with dollops of bad cops & robbers. Adam didn't know if he was Adam or Harry searching f...more
Freda mans
This was a long read, even though it was fairly short in pages, I felt I had a tough time making it through.
I can say that I appreciate the words the author used to write with. I may not have enjoyed what the words told, but I did enjoy how it was put together. Sena writes very eloquently, enough so that I can't help but wonder if she talks that way too.
I couldn't connect with the story at all though. The characters well great, but I really didn't have any similarities to them and their story....more
Once this story got started, I sunk into it like a good fairy tale. I liked the idea of the Eden-like area for Adam and Lucy to recover in, healing both physical and emotional wounds. The foreshadowing of the end of the perceived magic in their Eden coincides, of course, with the intrusion of the outside world; you can see it coming, but Ms. Naslund carries you through it nicely.

I was anticipating the big reveal at the end of the novel but was disappointed and left feeling kind of flat. Until t...more
I had high hopes for this book, because I've enjoyed Naslund's previous books, especially Ahab's Wife and Abundance. Unfortunately, this book was a grave disappointment. It seems like Naslund was trying to do something a little different with Adam & Eve. The result is dialogue filled with non-sequiturs, plot points that are left dangling, and characters who say and do things with no apparent motivation or that are directly at odds with what they have said and done previously (with no account...more
Jill Koren
I think this is a very ambitious book. It caused me to think deeply about many things, including cave paintings and religious dogma, about which I might not otherwise have thought deeply. As a whole, however, it did not cohere. As I finished it, I couldn't help but think of Dorothy Parker's line about throwing the novel with great force, for that is exactly what I had the urge to do. So while there were many wonderful things about this novel, I was ultimately disappointed. Which made me sad, sin...more
Kelley Heaney
I wish I had good things to say about this story since I really enjoyed Ahab's Wife but this was not what I considered to be a good book. It was confusing, but not in a way that would make the reader really ponder what was being said or meant. The boy in the garden was strange, Adam was strange. The other pilot was strange (I don't even remember his name). The reader didn't feel the characters or what they were experiencing. There was no anticipaiting what would happen next. Quite frankly the on...more
Jessie J
I don't think this novel was as magnificent as Ahab's Wife, but I love to be cradled along with Naslund's language, and I hadn't read anything of hers since AW. The story was fine; I kept picturing my current celebrity crush (Lee Pace) as Adam, so it was fun. I also liked the fact that she wrote part of it while living in my town, and I could pick out the references she might have inserted because of it. But it is her language that draws me, so I will remember to seek out more of her novels, as...more
The writer has great intellect and a flair for writing beautiful prose, but the story itself, didn't live up to my expectations. I love books about religion that encourage questioning of traditional interpretations, yet the book didn't deliver on that promise. To me, the idea of finding an alternate version of Genesis was so appealing, yet it was a minor subplot. In the end, I was hoping for a grand reveal of how this codex was going to change the world, yet the actual content of the codex fell...more
It is a relief to realize that I am not alone in my disliking Naslund’s latest book, Adam and Eve. After reading and loving Ahab’s Wife, I carefully selected Adam and Eve as my Early Reviewer pick, and was thrilled to receive it. However, I ended up confused and baffled by Naslund’s variegated and seemingly unrelated plotlines. There is too much going on.[return][return]There are three main plots here: extraterrestrial life has been discovered, and Lucy, our protagonist, holds the key to that ar...more
Oh, my, there are so many layers to this book I don't even know where to start. It's a love story. It's an adventure story. It's a mystery. It's psychological suspense. It's
a thriller. It's magical. It's gritty. It's about religion. It's about science. It's about the past. It's about the future. There is art. There is murder. There is profound innocence. There is evil. It is a compelling, confusing, contemplative, page-turning, wondrous read.
I can't seem to get into this book so I think it's a sign that after two weeks I haven't read past chapter 4. It's boring and just plain dull. I feel like I wasted my time. GRRRR!!!!
If you're looking for a great story, this probably isn't the book for you. If you're looking for beautiful prose and magnificent characterization, you might enjoy this. Though the dialogue is a bit stilted and the plot less than realistic in places, this is beautifully written and about as thought-provoking as a novel ever gets. I gave it 3 stars instead of 4, because I felt incredibly cheated by the ending. I felt a sense of loss (if you read it to the end you may know what I mean) but this is...more
If you have to choose between this book or another to read... Choose the other book! Enough said.
Heather Hamilton
Ok. I think this one is a dud. Unless you are decently versed in biblical history (and we're talking the writing OF the bible, not the writing IN the bible), and unless you have a better than above-average vocabulary, this book will feel like a struggle to read.

At first, I just felt dumb, because I was having to actually research stuff on the internet just to feel like I was adequately understanding what she was writing. I remember mentioning that I felt as though there was a ton of symbolism th...more
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Sena Jeter Naslund is the New York Times best-selling author of five novels, including Ahab's Wife (1999) and Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (HarperCollins, 2006). She is currently Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville and program director of the Spalding University brief-residency Master in Fine Arts in Writing. Recipient of the Harper Le...more
More about Sena Jeter Naslund...
Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette Four Spirits Sherlock in Love: A Novel The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman: A Novel

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