That’s exactly what Tosca Lee does in her novel, Havah: The Story of Eve. With lush prose, she paints a sensual paradise before leading her readers through the crushing moments surrounding the fall, then into the abyss of unspeakable loss and guilt that follows. In fictionalizing the story of Havah (Eve), Lee courageously treads where many a Christian writer would fear to venture, wielding her imagination both creatively and responsibly.
I struggled, nonetheless, to relate to this Eve, whose relationship with her adam (man) after the fall is fraught with tension to the point of enmity. Even more disturbing is their dearth of communion with the One that Is. Though we’re given tantalizing, fleeting glimpses of Him in Eden, He all but disappears (though He is longed for) after the banishment and humanity’s relentless slide toward death.
Of course, that’s probably the point. But still–it made for bleak reading, especially after Kayin (Cain) kills Hevel (Abel), and what remains of the plot’s propelling tension unravels.
Though Lee is faithful to hint at humanity’s hope for rescue–of redemption from its fallen state–Havah ultimately lacks the wow factor I was hoping for.