Havah: A Review

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a book as much as the one I just finished reading.

Havah: the story of Eve by Tosca Lee. I’m not even sure where to begin. Here—I loved it. I devoured it. From the moment I cracked the spine and started to read, I was compelled to finish. Not many books command me to read them, tell me to stop working, stay up late, and sacrifice my entire Saturday so that I might spend a few more moments seated before the hearth of someone else’s tale.

Havah required that I hear her story.

The book never felt like a piece of fiction to me. It was as if, finally, the veil had been lifted and I could hear the beginning verses of Genesis told in Eve’s voice. As if we crouched together before a flickering fire, the night wind at our backs, and like a beloved friend, she told me all of her secrets, from the beginning to the end.

Tosca has created a masterpiece in Havah.

Chapter one begins with the birth of Havah (Eve) in the Garden. With a poetic voice, Tosca tells the tale of the first woman, her relationship with “the adam” and her desire to know the One that Is. Havah frolics in a perfect world, where the river sounds like music and the air is stained with the fragrance of pomegranate and plum. Her dearest friends are a lioness, Levia, and a fallow deer, Adah, and it is through these relationships that we later see the bitter contrast between life in the Garden and life after the Fall.

Because, of course, Havah has yet one more friend—a serpent. More beautiful than any of the other animals, it dwells on an island, always near a tree that bears forbidden fruit.

If you think this is a story you’ve heard before, you’re wrong. No one has ever told this tale with such lush detail. As much as I have contemplated Eve and her life in the Garden—and I have—I never saw it this way. Havah is both heartbreaking and stunningly beautiful.

Tosca’s voice, so unique and fluid in rhythm, reminds me at times of Sue Monk Kidd or Janet Fitch. But the spiritual quality of this book elevates it to another plateau.

This is exactly the type of story, book, and author that I have been waiting to see emerge in CBA. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to get lost in another world, anyone who would like to experience the Book of Genesis in a fresh way, or anyone looking for a story that is beautiful and compelling from beginning to end.

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