TITLE: EVE: IN THE BEGINNING
AUTHOR: H.B. MOORE
PUBLISHER: Mirror Press
PUBLISHED DATE: April 1, 2015
GENRE: Fiction, Historical
FORMAT: Paperback, 290 pages
IDENTIFICATION: ISBN: 1941145450
ISBN 13: 9781941145456
The first love story on earth…Haunting…Lyrical…Unforgettable…
In a world where everything is perfect, yet the same day after day, Eve must decide if she wants to live forever in the garden with Adam and never know what lies beyond the walls. When she makes a choice with terrible consequences, the pain of mortality is swift. As she and Adam explore their new world and her body changes, Eve discovers the sweetness of first love with the man who has always been at her side.
MY REVIEW: 4 Stars (out of 5 stars)
REVIEW TITLE: “HIGH PRAISE FOR A COMPELLING, THOUGHT-PROVOKING READ.”
I purchased this book through Create Space. The cover art was inviting and an excellent representation of the title. I took my time in reading this book and pondered the presentation and content of the author’s work. I found it to be a truly artistic literary presentation of the timeless story of the origin of the human race, through the eyes of Eve. No easy feat for any writer. But H.B. Moore does an admirable job and deserves a well-earned applause.
No doubt, this story could easily meet with audiences of varied pre-established opinions about the story, Christian or otherwise. The Author’s Note preceding the story’s content clearly states that this work is not meant to represent any specific religious organization or religious doctrine. Any reader should remember this declarative statement throughout the reading of this book. Additionally, the author has made it clear that this literary work does not necessarily represent her personal religious beliefs. This book is a work of Fiction, and the author presents it as a fictionalized novelization.
Be assured that H.B. Moore does not present this story as an anthropological study of human relations, mingled with scripture. What the author does do, however, is present an inviting, thought-provoking, timeless story originating from long-honored and widely accepted and respected Biblical text. H.B. Moore skillfully places literary footprints in the Garden of Eden, and the world beyond its walls, using great sensitivity as she tells the story primarily through the eyes of Eve. There is a vivid representation of forces of both good and evil. This novel champions the beginning of man and woman as the pinnacle of divine creation and illustrates the complexities of human nature, both male, and female. The story nurtures hope and tremendous possibilities through a myriad of life experiences as a result of exercising the free will of mankind.
The Garden of Eden’s atmosphere, geography, animals and other creatures, as well as the daily lives of Eve and Adam while in their innocent state, was very visual in a stylistic presentation. This portrayal made the introductory reading of the novel very pleasing and inviting to engage further the journey of the story.
It was very interesting to see the early introduction and a constant theme throughout the novel regarding Eve and Adam’s evolution from naivety to maturity in how they perceive their own and each other’s characteristics and roles. For example, in Eden, Eve feels that Adam is too cautious; Adam feels that Eve is too curious about what lies beyond the borders of the Garden, and her yearning for more knowledge and a better understanding of the Tree of Knowledge makes him uncomfortable. Eve also seeks clarity of the term “forever” regarding a beginning and an end, even if she and Adam did not die. Eve understands that Adam’s “beginning” was before hers, but neither knows exactly how much time spanned between those two beginnings. Eve also understands that she and Adam are to obey all of God’s commandments, and they have a desire to do so. While Adam’s love for Eve propels him to want desperately to protect her, even from her curiosity, he ultimately realizes that they are individually accountable.
A consistent thread throughout the novel is that Eve is intelligent, has a love for Adam and their Creator, values knowledge, and she consistently communicates in a way that demonstrates her steadfast desire to understand more fully so that she can obey all of God’s commandments. What is puzzling to her, however, is that one commandment is in conflict with another because they are unable to multiply and replenish the earth while in their innocent state. The introduction of Satan and his role in the Garden of Eden further compounds Eve’s curiosity and desire for further knowledge and understanding. With her desire to be obedient, Eve is faced with a quandary of choice because the commandment to produce posterity has an obstacle preventing obedience to it. Thus, she is faced with the pivotal moment of choice which is the catalyst for the perpetuation of mankind. Eve desires to demonstrate obedience, but she must embrace bravery beyond anything she has ever known, to understand, and to move forward. It becomes clear that for Eve and Adam to move forward, a sure fall must occur. Eve grasps onto the moment of fall and rise of mankind, and that act forever changes the history and destiny of the human race. H. B. Moore masterfully shows this not to be the result of weakness, but of incredible courage, bravery, and free choice.
The experiences of Eve and Adam in the world beyond the walls of Eden are starkly portrayed with a vivid display of the elements of nature, changing of seasons, and weather-related challenges often bringing them to the brink of death, especially during their initial experience with winter. Likewise, their abrupt acquaintance with dangerous terrain, need for shelter, restriction of seasonally produced food, predatory animals and reptiles, and injurious insect life brought related hardships. Discomfort, hunger, bodily harm, sorrow, and the threat of loss of life were real as they realized that all life in Eden underwent a transformation as a result of their final choices in the Garden. It was rewarding to see that, in time, they were able to come to understand their new surroundings, how to live therein, sustain their life, cope with hardships of their environment, and manage challenges between them as individuals and as a married couple.
It was equally satisfying to see how H.B. Moore sensitively portrayed the feelings of love between Eve and Adam, their desire to have offspring, their continual effort through prayer to stay in communication with God in spite of not being able to communicate directly with Him after leaving the Garden. Although eerie and haunting at times, I did appreciate the portrayal of the adversary’s continued presence in their mortal life, and how they had to reaffirm continually their devotion and commitment to God and shun the enticements and deceptions of Satan. Their emotional frailties and those of the flesh were believable. The journey of this Biblical couple was starkly different in the mortal realm in contrast to what their existence was in Eden. H.B. Moore convincingly used many sensory experiences for the reader to understand this often harsh and fragile difference in reality.
A profound victory for Eve and Adam through their mortal experience was their discovery and acceptance of pain and sorrow being the price for them to have a choice, so they can keep the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. Likewise, they also realize that temptation will remain throughout mortality so that they may have a choice. This discovery brings renewed determination and selflessness on their part so that mankind may come forth, learn of their God and Creator, Elohim, and likewise have the blessing and accountability of free will and choice.
Though readers witness a difficult monumental journey, they are reminded that they only see a small portion of the beginning of this couple’s journey. The novel ends with the first live birth of a child born to Eve and Adam. What this brave couple endures to this point is dramatic, poignant, and incredible. Equally significant and genuine is that they continually give praise to God for blessing them with the opportunity for the experience.
The Author’s Toolkit:
H.B. Moore brilliantly and thoughtfully guides the saga of Eve and Adam with great sensitivity and strength as a writer, allowing the characters, conflicts, and situations to have multiple layers and complexity while often maintaining a simplicity that is pure. She skillfully illustrates Eve’s predominant voice. The exercise of artistic license is evident in the storytelling and engages the reader to further thought and introspection. The author shows great reverence for and respect of the Biblical text. Though this novel is a work of fiction, it is clearly evident that the author has conducted extensive theological and theoretical research in the process of her writing. She candidly admits in her author’s note that many unknowns remain regarding the story of Eve and Adam.
H.B. Moore exhibits a proficient command of the English language. Her ability to create a world and conflict with words is undeniable. Simultaneously, she can render danger, fright, anxiety, sorrow, mystery, hardship, evil, and death hanging by a thread. In the next moment, she can display further genius in her writing as she can show beauty, hope, bravery, strength, and vulnerability through a moment of courage shown through the actions of one of her characters. Just when I think that an idea is not plausible, I pause and ponder the issue, the possibility, and the potential outcome. I examine my knowledge base, and I am convinced to give her line of thought a portion of merit and credibility which encourages me to continue the literary journey with her. That is a mark of a skilled writer, and H.B. Moore has a vast toolkit.
H.B. Moore deserves high praise for EVE: IN THE BEGINNING. It is a compelling, thought-provoking read and a unique work of Fiction. This novel is exceptional, and I enjoyed reading it. It is well deserving of being the recipient of 2015 Best Of State (Utah) in Literary Arts for Fiction. Likewise, it is noteworthy to have been a 2014 Whitney Award Finalist (e-book). This novel will appeal to readers of religious faith, especially those whose faith is accepting of the initial teachings of the Holy Bible’s Old Testament. However, the story is compelling as a fictionalized novelization and can additionally appeal to many other varied audiences. I would recommend this book as a good read, and I would also advise anyone reading it to remember the content of the author’s note preceding the story as they read this novel.
This review is NOT meant to persuade any individual to accept this book’s content as doctrine, fact, or scripture. The Reviewer supports the author’s claim that the book is a fictionalized novelization.
Alice M. Batzel
Published Playwright, Journalist, Freelance Writer
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