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The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  361 ratings  ·  94 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness.

Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every con
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Penguin Press
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  361 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a tribute to the first couple, to Love and to Eve herself.
The author looked at the Gospels, the Bible, interviewed various Experts of theology, psychology, human behaviorists. He put a lot of thought, in an unbiased way, into his thesis.
Although I didn't buy into all he said, his final story was a positive one of human togetherness and kinship.
His tribute to the first couple as a loving, caring, imperfect pair has merit. I certainly hope that Adam & Ev
Peter Wilkes
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book works at every level. I purchased a hard copy of this book for my personal library and will be reading it again and again.

Meticulous in his research, eloquent in his approach, and profound in his philosophy, Bruce Feiler has taken this, the most necessary of all our myths—distorted for centuries by misinformation and society’s reinforcement of patriarchal dogma—and turned it on its head.

His timing could not have been better. Approaching his last years, Joseph Campbell asserted that ou
Hal Issen
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
If you like overwrought analogies, sweeping projections, and endlessly pounding the same goddamn point into the ground again and again and again and again, you'll love this book. It's like reading a freshman philosophy student's end-of-the-year project. It sounds all scholarly, but the hypothesis is weakly supported, poorly explored, and not especially interesting in the first place. If you make it past the first two chapters, there is actually some good meat here. You can put it down when he st ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
I propose an alternate title: Adam and Eve: Here Are All My Opinions and the Resources I Bend to Fit My Premise.

Vicki Gibson
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bruce Feiler, author of Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses, revisits the story of Adam and Eve. Having heard the creation story countless times, I thought I knew it inside and out. Feiler manages to put a fresh spin on it. Instead of original sin, the fall of humankind, the serpent, death, temptation, and (especially) Eve as the villain, Feiler weaves a love story. He strips away the patriarchal spin and put Adam and Eve on equal footing. Along the way, you'll m ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A well told examination of this allegory and so much more from a pro-female position.
Jaime Colman
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reclaiming, gorgeous, relevant
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I came to this one with high hopes, and for a while it didn't disappoint. When Feiler is talking specifically about passages in Genesis, interpreting them according to his knowledge of Hebrew, he is very interesting. I had never noticed before that after God creates the world seeing each step as "very good," the first thing that he explicitly finds "not good" is that the human is alone. That is a wonderful insight and is worth explication, which Feiler gives at length. But in his intense desire ...more
Ian Gillies
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Bruce Feiler writes a weekly column for the New York Times and has published at least 10 books on religion, history and society. My purpose in reading this book on Adam and Eve was to better understand religious and moral views on the institution of marriage and the roles of women and men. This is another step in investigating my parents, their relationship and their legacy. My parents were not religious people - both were probably agnostic and certainly developed along the well trodden path of ...more
Melissa Pietkiewicz
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
When I received a copy of this book I admit to not really knowing what to expect. I had heard the author on a podcast I like and honestly, that is the biggest reason this book moved to the top of my "to read list" I mean, we all know the story of Adam and Eve already, or do we? That said, I am pleased to admit that I absolutely loved this book! It made me consider the story in a way that I had not previously. It made me really think about the role of women in church in the past as well as the pr ...more
Helga Cohen
I have always liked this author and have read all of his books. His latest is a new retelling of the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. He writes with much insight and wisdom and has done quite a lot of meticulous research. This book began when the author visited Rome and the Sistine Chapel and looked at the Michelangelo painting on the ceiling depicting the Creation of Adam. Feiler travels to Garden of Eden in Iraq, the Sistine Chapel in Rome and John Milton’s London. He discusses them with th ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book! I have been single since 1993. A number of my married friends look at me with envy. I can do what I want, how I want, when I want and with or without who I want. I don't have to negotiate any of my choices with anyone. Enviable, right? What others don't see, what I hide from others so well, is that there's a price I pay for that. It's the "l" word. It's the word that most single people have not come to terms with. It's the pronouncement from God in Genesis, the insight from God, th ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I loved this book so much. It’s so refreshing to hear such a different take on Adam and Eve, one that honors them and gives them dignity, as well as disputes the presupposition that man is greater than woman. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey through time and culture, exploring anthropological, religious and historical research about the Adam and Eve story. In the end I came to a deeper understanding of love, gender, commitment, relationships, God and humanity. I was looking for a book on ma ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good read, not as stupendous as some of the testimonials on the book jacket read, but was interesting -- weaving stories about Augustine and Michaelangelo and Darwin with Jewish/Christian scholarship on the Adam & Eve tale.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I think it's safe to say we all know the story of Adam and Eve, even if we don't know any other story in the Bible. What exactly do we know, though? We know Adam was created from the ground, that Eve was created from Adam's side, that God told them not to eat from that one tree, that Eve listened to the serpent and ate from the forbidden tree anyway, that she took the fruit to Adam and he ate it, and then God came down, found out, and kicked them out of Eden. Sounds about right, yes? What Mr. Fe ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quite good! Spent much time on Google looking at pictures of the Sistine chapel's paintings. Never studied them much before but found them quite interesting. Also looked at Genesis in the bible again. Learned a lot from the book and spent time with the paintings and Genesis. Good stuf! Well worth the time spent. Educational. Will probably read John Milton "Paradise Lost" sometime soon.
Rhonda Lomazow
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won this book through Goodreads.A wonderful read .an inspirationl look at Adam &Eve as a love story with a lot of focus on Eve,Mr.Feller makes us laugh shares with us personal moments in his families life.I really enjoyed The First Love Story.
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
When you've listened to or read Bible stories for many years, it becomes difficult to look at them with fresh eyes. This is a book that does that in a very interesting and entertaining way, challenging what you thought you knew about Adam and Eve.
Bruce Feiler starts out in the Sistine Chapel, where everyone knows God is reaching out his fingertip to Adam. But did you ever think that the woman held intimately under God's arm, close to his heart, was Eve? Feiler explores this story through imag
Aug 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book had a great premise, but didn't really deliver. It read like a first draft- some good information, but it mostly felt like a brain dump of ideas that was never edited or revised. Additionally, it seems like Feiler had a couple of points he wanted to make and just kept repeating them throughout the book, with no additional value added each time he mentioned them.

I also didn't really like his style. This is a nonfiction book, but he felt compelled to tell me what the experts he talked t
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read nearly all of Bruce Feiler's books and he never disappoints in bringing enlightening historical context to his subjects, as well as sharing personal stories which enliven his prose. His sense of humor permeates this book and is paired with thoughtful reexamination of the story of Adam and Eve.

The kernel of the book's ideas emanates from a visit to the Sistine Chapel with his twin daughters which he quotes as follows: "Why is there only a man? Where am I in that picture?" Her sister
Cathy Broun
Jul 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is probably one of the worst books I have read in a long time. It read like a term paper that was written the night before it was due. A series of random topics strung together by somehow relating them to Adam and Eve. For example, the author goes on and on, very negatively, about dealing with the security related to Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia. He lets us all know that he was with CNN. Why didn't the author just go to a papal audience when he was in Rome? What do those details have ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although I only gave it four stars I totally recommend it to anyone interested in relationships in general. I first heard about this book on Radio West and I have to say I preferred the author's voice in the interview over his voice in the book. Somehow in the book he never quite felt serious or professional enough. He covered some really good material but I always preferred the people or sources he was quoting over his commentary. Luckily he used a lot o ...more
Carolyn Thomas
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating look at Adam and Eve through different eyes - a Jewish scholar, an art historian, a fundamentalist Christian preacher to name but a few - and certainly puts "flesh" on the bare bones of the Biblical narrative.
Feiler examines not just what happened in Eden before "the Fall" but afterwards. How did the relationship of Adam and Eve survuve being the parents of the first murderer and the first murder victim?At a meeting of Compassionate Friends one bereaved parent said, "There'
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I’d like to give this book 3.5 stars. I think that if I didn’t have the background in the Old Testament I may have thought more of it but the writer was less in depth (and much more repetitive) than last readings of the first few books of the Bible. If you can get past the blathering of the first two chapters, the book settles in to its message and is an easy read.

I do feel this book is important and very relevant in the age of “fast” everything, including relationships. It reminds us of the hum
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I seldom write reviews beyond a star rating, because I feel a bit awkward doing so. However, since I was so curious about this book (and very happy to win an advance reading copy in a give-away), I feel compelled to at least write something. Apologies for writing this informally.

"Adam, Eve, and Us" first drew my attention by its title, and then by its description; the latter of which because it sounded as if it would likely discuss a religious topic without sounding frightening, condescending,
Jennifer Barten
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
When we started this book in Women's Bible Study I was excited for it. It sounded like a fun way to learn more about how Adam and Eve could have lived and about their lives.
And while we did learn that here are the bigger take aways I took from this book:
1.) The author's views on marriage and relationships didn't match mine and many people's in the group. He seemed to have an underlaying issue trusting people.
2.) The author wanted to travel places so just found ideas that could match the place
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, adult
Despite the few passages in the Bible about the Creation, Adam, Eve, their relationship, or their family life, many people throughout time have written accounts and interpretations, some with great insight, into the lives of the mother and father of manking. This book takes the reader through some of those interpretations (literary, scholarly, etc) and finds a different perspective than traditional Christianity. As Feiler writes: "Their story is not just about sin, disobedience, ingratitude, squ ...more
Mandi Scott
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bruce Feiler has a wonderful gift for making an ancient story completely fresh and relevant in the 21st Century. Though based on a few sparse verses in the Hebrew Bible, this is not a book about religion. Rather it encompasses a range of topics from art history, English literature, the history of Western Civilization, even the relatively recent sexual revolution. Whether the reader believes the Bible is fact, fiction or mere mythology, one comes away with amazement and new found appreciation for ...more
Laurie Simpson
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A captivating synthesis of history, literary analysis, psychology, and religion. I was skeptical at first of Feiler's premise and thesis, but he sold it. I love the way he makes you feel like you are walking beside him on his tour of historical sites, as well as sitting beside him during his interviews with scholars, historians, and others. Beyond being such a readable work of analysis, this book was inspiring, reminding us what love really is, that our most basic psychological need is connectio ...more
Sarah Carr
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy Bruce Feiler's books because he takes topics we know something about and really expands them into a rich, encompassing narrative, drawing in pieces and stories that we didn't know were related but obviously are. In this book he goes into the story of Adam and Eve and posits it's the world's first love story (whereas prior to this love was between gods or between a god and a human). It was interesting to learn how early feminists rewrote the story, how different religions use the s ...more
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BRUCE FEILER is one of America’s most popular voices on family, faith, and survival. He writes the “This Life” column about contemporary families for the Sunday New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including WALKING THE BIBLE and THE COUNCIL OF DADS. He is the writer/presenter of the PBS series “Walking the Bible” and the forthcoming “Sacred Journeys with ...more