I find that my words are woefully inadequate to describe my feelings after reading Havah by Tosca Lee. Simply put, this is one of the finest books I've read in a long time and Lee has become one of my all-time favorite authors.
Where to even begin? I mean, Lee's undertaking is massive, trying to tease out a whole novel in what amounts to three chapters in the Bible. But she pulls it off, injecting a lot of drama, conflict, and beauty to very familiar stories. It may be a cliche, but I can honestly say that I'll never look at the early chapters of Genesis the same way again.
Part of what really hit me is the lyrical quality of Lee's prose. I noticed it when I read Demon: A Memoir but it shines like a diamond in this book. It helped transport me to a very different place when I read it and kept me thoroughly absorbed.
The interactions between the characters were also very believable. Obviously I don't know what it would be like to be created perfect and then lose the Garden, but as I read how the adam and Havah dealt with their new lives outside, I nodded and thought to myself, "Yes, that's how it would be."
Lee makes some interesting dramatic choices in telling Havah's story. There were a few times when it seemed like she departed from the Biblical text, but that actually turned out for the best. Her poetic license was exercised with great care and deliberation and really, I can't fault her for the way she constructed her story. Any time I questioned her choices, I wound up retracting my questions a few chapters later.
To put it bluntly, this is an exquisitely crafted story, one that everyone would do well to pick up and read.