Havah is the story of Adam and Eve. However, this is no Sunday School version! Author Tosca Lee has very skillfully taken the familiar Biblical tale and woven it into a rich tapestry full of unedited human drama, despair, pain, and triumph. The story is told from Eve’s point of view, giving us a whole different perspective – right from the moment she wakes in the garden, to the subtle deception of the serpent, and on through almost 900 years of her struggles as matriarch of all humanity. Lee’s writing is beautifully descriptive; the garden scenes were vibrant, imaginative, and alive with wonder. The vivid imagery continues throughout and the rawness and immediacy of the characters’ emotions is palpable.
Lee’s Imaginative take on events as they unfolded was ambitious and overall, this was a very satisfying read. At times, however, I found Havah (Eve) frustratingly petulant and argumentative to the point of being petty. We see this side of her character so often as to almost make us unsympathetic toward her. She is sometimes even kniving, and there was almost a modern day sense of entitlement at times which I wondered at. I suppose when one takes into consideration that her struggles lasted for almost a millennium, one could cut her a little slack… In the end, Lee does a good job of showing us the first couple’s humanity, it all its ruggedness and imperfection.
As with any good novel, Havah stays with you long after putting it down. It raises many questions about what life was like in those early years, and Lee does a good job of sequencing the chain of events that could explain man’s ancient development. Of course, as a work of fiction, it is not meant to be treated as Biblical or historical truth. It is one person’s vision of what it ‘might’ have been like. In any case, Havah is worth reading and I highly recommend it. No wonder Tosca Lee is making her mark in the literary world.