Hello new friends!
Here is a review from the premiere "issue" of my movie and book review website. Hope you find it useful! For more, go to http://estellasbooksmarts.weebly.com/
At the promising outset of Adam & Eve: What Happened to Eden? by Sana Jeter Naslund, a baby grand is plummeting at the speed of light out of a window and ready to smash our protagonists into tiny bits. And no, one of them is not Wile Coyote.
QUICK LOOK: Lucy Bergmann is entrusted with an alternative version of the Book of Genesis and is chased around the globe by a fundamentalist group called Perpetuity. On the run, she eventually crash lands in the desert and meets a squirrely American GI called Adam (naturally). There’s also an accident that will probably turn out to be a murder and a flash drive that contains scientific evidence of extraterrestrial life. Seems like the Da Vinci Code by way of The English Patient with a dash of Doctor Who.
I normally don't like pastiche (unless it’s fresh baked and slathered with butter and jam); but because I devoured the author's Ahab’s Wife, I was willing to give Naslund the benefit of the doubt on this one. She's got a nice, lyrical style of writing, even though I think she over-explains things a bit in this book. At first read I wasn't quite sure I loved the allegorical chapters in the book. I know that's what the whole thing is centered around, but they're a little drippy in my view. The story seem to roll along at first, and the characterizations solid.
THE FINAL WORD: I had high hopes for this novel because I loved Ahab’s Wife so much. But I think that Naslund tried to write a high-brow Da Vinci Code thriller that doesn't really come off. I loved the basic idea of an alternate opener to Genesis and the actual pay-off was acceptable, but just not strong enough. I think Naslund becomes a little too intoxicated with the idea of a Earth-bound Eden with all its symbolism and spends a bit too much time there. I could have done with a bit less fruit collecting, and I didn't see the importance of the murderous aboriginal boy. (By the time he comes into the picture, I was rooting for him.) The chase scenes are a little silly too and, frankly, unbelievable. And then there is the flash drive that Lucy wears for the entire story because it contains her scientist-husband’s proof of other life in the universe. But instead of giving us some Contact-like revelation, we get another silly story about her husband's infidelity, his obsession with chippies named Lucy, and a pair of video-recording glasses straight out of Mission Impossible. Lastly, the character of Adam is creepy (and waxen), and Lucy's eventual relationship with him is stictly from the Stockholm Syndrome playbook.
Moby Dick (1956 movie) & Ahab’s Wife