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Eve: A Novel of the First Woman

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,047 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
In their world they are alone…a family haunted by banishment, struggling for survival in a harsh new land. A woman who has borne and buried children, Eve sees danger shadowing those she loves, while her husband drifts further and further from the man he was in the Garden, blinded by his need to rebuild a life outside of Eden. One daughter, alluring, self-absorbed Naava, tu ...more
Audio CD, 13 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2009)
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Dec 28, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Thanks to my membership at I got an advanced reading copy of Eve. I loved, loved,loved it.

Here's the basic premise: What was Eve's life like after Eden?

The story goes back and forth in time and is told in 4 voices: Eve's and her daughters, Naava, Dara and Aya. Oddly, Naava's is always told in the 3rd person, while the others are in 1st person.

Eve is portrayed very realistically and not always sympathetically. Like a real person, she has strengths and weaknesses. Naava is mostly p
Apr 25, 2011 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this entire book. The flashbacks to life in the Garden, the temptation of the forbidden fruit, and their consequent expulsion were really interesting and well written. Unfortunately, that was only about 15% of the book. The rest of the story fell into repetitive and self-absorbed reflections. The story is written from the viewpoint of the women in Eve's family, but they each fall into a female stereotype that was really cringeworthy. It was as though Eve produced all the ...more
In Eve: A Novel of the First Woman I was hoping to read a provocative account of the Abrahamic religions' mythical genetrix. Unfortunately, it's a fairly predictable, by-the-numbers, Christian apologia. I will give Elliott points for making Eve's and Adam's succumbing to Lucifer's temptations plausible but all the major characters - Adam, Eve, Abel, Cain, and the daughters Naava, Aya and Dara - are too broadly drawn and are "types" rather than real people. Elliott also can't seem to decide wheth ...more
From the AP:
¶ "Eve: A Novel of the First Woman" (Delacorte Press, 421 pages, $24), by Elissa Elliott: Tossed from the Garden of Eden for a seemingly insignificant act _ eating a piece of fruit _ Eve is adrift.
¶ What did it mean? Why was the punishment so harsh? And then, where is God? Does he still exist? Does he remember her?
¶ Drawing on scholarly studies of Genesis, Judaism and Mesopotamia, and written in the easy-to-read style of "The Red Tent" and "Queenmaker," Elissa Elliott's first novel o
Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliott

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Many people know the story the Bible tells of Adam and Eve: Adam was the first man, Eve was created from his rib, they were expelled from Eden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they had 2 sons (Cain & Abel) and Cain killed Abel. That is about where the Bible’s version of this story ends. Elissa Elliott picks up where the story leaves off and creates a very detailed back story for these first people.
Nov 04, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
(I would hide this because of spoilers, but I'm kind of figuring everyone knows the story of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, so... my bad.)

Evocative, intimate, lusciously written, and - because we all know the story - at times almost painful to read, this novel comes highly recommended. I love the way Elissa Elliott portrays these characters. The voices of the women are each exquisitely rendered (Dara's narration, as the youngest, is particularly heart-wrenching in some places, especially after
Mar 18, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought about giving this book five stars, but I feel like that should maybe be reserved for all-time favorites. So let's just call this 4 1/2 stars. I absolutely loved this book. I felt really attached to the characters and the story from the very beginning, and couldn't wait to get back to the book every time I had to put it down. I loved the concept of the book -- a fictional telling of Eve's life after the expulsion from Eden. The chapters rotate between the voices of Eve and her three dau ...more
Jun 08, 2009 steen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All in all, I'm only somewhat enthused about this book. While the author did a great job bringing the characters to life and telling the stories of Eve and each of her daughters, it also gets incredibly frustrating after awhile; the voices begin to blur together and, towards the end, I was fed up with all of the women due to their constant whining and a selfishness that seemed uniform for each. They became very stereotyped and, in many ways, it came off as pretty misogynistic: Naava was an empty ...more
Jan 26, 2009 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced reading copy via a Goodreads giveaway. This is Elissa Elliott's first novel but she provides a well written protrayal of Adam and Eve. Told mostly from Eve's prosepective the author weaves a tale of Eve's life. Her banishment from the Garden of Eden and how it greatly affected her throughout the rest of her days. She struggled with her belief, her marriage and her children. For the most part I found it believable and fascinating. The anger and guilt Eve felt towards God ar ...more
Jan 01, 2009 K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i did not care for this book. i found the writing to be insipid...the characters' voices (Eva and her daughters, Naava, Dara and Aya) all seemed the same. i did not find that they were truthful to the time or the atmosphere. i found myself thinking, are they really saying these things and in this way? i didn't care for any of the characters, save Aya, and i couldn't bring myself to care about them. I am so disappointed in Eve, i had hoped it would be similar to The Red Tent but it was just so po ...more
Thanks to Goodreads I won an advanced copy!

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way Elissa Elliot took the "skeleton" of this old story and as she said bulked it up with "fictional fat".

I could identify with the characters. I could understand Eve's feelings of abandonment by Elohim. That loss of companionship and intimacy with Him was confusing for her and shook her faith. In my opinion, a believable scenario. Believable enough to care for and empathize with the characters.

Overall, a very g
Dec 31, 2008 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to agree with Barbara about this book. It was a fast read and I should have slowed down to really absorb everything. Overall, this was a good book. I was worried about it becuase I haven't read the Bible yet, or because I didn't know much about Adam and Eve and their family. I liked all the characters, especially Aya who was disabled. I was super suprised that Eve kept questioning the existance of God throughout the book too! And how she would go back and forth from being submissive to be ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Noel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, Eve read almost like a swooping T.V. miniseries, a vastly epic tale with installment after installment of ancient Mesopotamian triumphs and tragedies. The novel begins with the death of Abel by his brother Cain (and no I 19m not spoiling anything here, folks 13 it 19s in the Bible!) and eventually ends there as well, but the novel comes full-circle by way of assorted flashbacks. While Elliott does devote a small part of her book to Adam and Eve 19s life in the garden, the majority of the ...more
This book was very good. At first it seemed a little disjointed so did take a couple chapters for me to get the swing of the way it was written. It is written from Eves view as well as from the views of her daughters. At first it went back and forth a bit but the differing views caught up to each other as it progressed. Elliott took this old story and gave it a fresh look giving some aspects of the original story some plausable reasons as to why they occured as they did. Very well done.
Feb 08, 2015 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alkitab menceritakan banyak sekali perempuan hebat dan teladannya. Tapi apakah kita tidak ingin untuk belajar juga dari kesalahan perempuan yang perbuatannya gagal menyenangkan hati Tuhan? Berbekal dari pemikiran ini, aku memilih buku novel religi yang ini.

Kalau kita berbicara tentang kegagalan dan dosa, siapa yang bisa mengalahkan popularitas pengemban dosa asal, Ibu dari semua mahkluk hidup, Hawa. Selama ini dia sering dituding sebagai biang kejatuhan pria, lambang ketidakpatuhan dan penyebab
May 15, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So it's kind of annoying when you read someone's work and you can't stop talking to yourself about the spellbinding writing and the characters. I just don't know how she did it. So let me get to the point. First, if you loved The Red Tent, and I did, consider this a companion. Second, why have we overlooked our rich literary ancestors like this? Just a marvelous treat, and nothing old about the testimony.
Sep 23, 2014 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was just ok.

I feel like if I was religious I would have been very uncomfortable reading this book. It was very sex driven. All the POV's were women, and they all wanted to jump the bones of every guy they saw.

I was pretty disappointed that the female characters were reduced to the equivalent of horny teenagers. I wanted more from the characters.

There was also a lot of incest. Which is pretty creepy because a lot of them were in their early teens when it happened.

Overall, could have been a lot
Jan 06, 2014 Sally rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To be fair, I quit reading about halfway through.

I couldn't handle the writing or the whining anymore.

Authors, if you're going to have each chapter be from a different character, then learn to write in distinguishable voices, please.

As it was in this book, Eve and her daughters all sounded the same.

Which was pretty much whiny.

The other reason I could not finish was because of the "poetic license" the author took with this "historical" novel.

The author said in the back that she stuck to the Ge
Laurie Gary
Jun 23, 2009 Laurie Gary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I decided that my summer is too short for tedious books. Stopped about 2/3 of the way through and I feel better already.
Mike Kalmbach
I have always considered the story of Adam and Eve to be allegorical, and it was interesting to see the author's take as she weaved myth with available historical details. Folks interested with history, especially considering ancient Sumerian culture, will find those details fascinating and worthy of further research. That said, those who believe in a literal biblical interpretation may not enjoy this story. It should also be said that Eve is often presented in a less-than-favorable light, so be ...more
Belief is not always easy. Even when you have seen and heard the thing you are supposed to believe in.

Eve is just mentioned in a few chapters of the Bible, but that has not stopped her from being one of the most vilified women in the Christian religion, right up there with Jezebel, Delilah, and Salome. But what was it like to be the first woman, the first wife, and the first mother? What would it have been like for Eve to have to deal with the fact that one of her sons killed the other in a je
Margaret Klein
This is another in the series of modern midrash, commentary on the Bible, in this case written by women to fill in the gaps in the story. This book was recommended by the Jewish Book Council and was one we read as part of a congregational book group. Unfortunately, this book is not a Jewish Midrash, which became more clear as I read it. Clues include the use of Lucifer, a Christian term for Satan, the Accuser, and G-d having a body. Also the use of Elohim as a name choice for G-d.
Nonetheless, i
First of all, I never in a million years would have picked this up if it wasn't chosen for my book club. In general, I avoid bible spinoff books.

I have to admit, the beginning of this book was a struggle. For about the first 150 pages, almost nothing happens. There are multiple levels of flashbacks that talk about where Eve is now, starting to explain how she got there, and some things about getting kicked out of the garden and the immediate aftermath.

Once things started happening though, the ot
Mar 08, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eve A Novel of the First Woman tells the story of Adam, Eve, and their children after they leave the Garden of Eden. The story is told through the memories of Eve and her daughters. Eve recounts the events that led to her and Adam's expulsion from the Garden and also the events leading to the tragedy between Cain and Abel.

Each chapter in the book is told by a different character and they are clearly labeled. I did not have difficulty keeping track of who was relating the story. One aspect that w
J. Else
Elliott is a very insightful and intelligent writer. Eve's journey is powerful, heart tugging, and very realistic in nature. She is not spared by the author, her story is given brutally honest truths about the hardships of motherhood, the choices a mother makes, and how her life continues to be shadowed from guilt regarding her choice of taking a bite from the forbidden fruit. The language is careful and true to the time period things are set in. I never felt lost by the setting or the mindset o ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Marvin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I thought it would be interesting to read this immediately after Gioconda Belli's novel of Adam & Eve, especially since its narrative basically picks up where Belli's leaves off, though it intermittently fills in the back story. Alas, this one suffers by the comparison. Narrated by Eve & three of of her daughters (though one's sections are in third person for some reason), it's largely a domestic drama of a dysfunctional family. Early on Eve characterizes each of her 6 children—3 boys &a ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Kiri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2012 Summer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of Eve of Adam and Eve of the Garden of Eden. The author herself says that after researching she doubts whether Adam and Eve were actually people but more of a myth and a myth of the Hebrew people, the 1st Hebrew people, not the 1st humans on the earth. With that said, she does an incredible job of portraying Eve's character and relating to the characters understood to be in the first chapters of Genesis. Furthermore she does it in an honorable way to the belief of the Jeudo-Chri ...more
Dec 23, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on the story of Adam and Eve, although I enjoyed "The Red Tent" more.

"It is the world’s oldest tale: the story of Eve, her husband, Adam, and the tragedy that would overcome her sons…. In this luminous debut novel, Elissa Elliott puts a powerful twist on biblical narrative, boldly reimagining Eve’s journey. At once intimate and universal, timely and timeless, this unique work of fiction blends biblical tradition with recorded history and dazzling storytelling. And as it does,
May 25, 2010 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction
Biblical fiction can be beautifully executed (The Red Tent), but Eve failed in its delivery of a story that could have been transcendent. The premise was good, but the writing was lacking. To start, there were too many different perspectives that weren’t cohesive. Eve and her daughters Dara and Aya narrated in the first person, and daughter Naava’s narrative was in the third person. Eve’s account was regretful and reminiscent to a degree that became annoying. The chapters told by five-year-old D ...more
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I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a child. Growing up as the oldest of seven, reading was my escape. It was my travel to faraway places and to different cultures. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “We read to know we’re not alone,” and I agree wholeheartedly.

I went the scientific route, graduating from UCLA with a biology degree and a masters of education. I taught high school math for tw
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“Belief is not always easy.
It is equal parts doubt and astonishment and gratitude and confusion. And then you see how deeply colored the sky is, how the grass is so sharply fragrant, how the fields are a dazzling gold, and you have to step back and breathe in this wild fabulous world. We live in the space of abundant questions and inadequate answers. How else can we live?”
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