Adam & Eve, Sena Jeter Naslund

[amazon_image id=”0061579289″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Adam & Eve: A Novel (P.S.)[/amazon_image]Sena Jeter Naslund’s novel [amazon_link id=”0061579289″ target=”_blank” ]Adam & Eve[/amazon_link] takes place in the near future, from 2017-2021. Protagonist Lucy Bergmann, recently widowed, finds herself in possession of information that will rock the foundations of the three Abrahamic religions: 1) we are not alone in the universe; and 2) Genesis may not have happened the way it’s recorded. A secret organization called Perpetuity is determined to prevent this information from being released; meanwhile, Lucy herself goes missing in a modern-day Eden when her plane crash lands, and where Lucy meets a naked man who calls himself Adam. Adam is a former soldier and may be mentally disturbed.

Where to start. I didn’t like this book, especially the last third. I never empathized with any of the characters. The story starts with the death of Lucy’s husband, which reminded me of nothing so much as Wile E. Coyote’s misadventures in Looney Tunes. If you read the book, you will see why. Lucy seemed to be the most incurious person I could imagine. If my husband left behind a top secret flash drive with all his research and dropped the bombshell that he had discovered extraterrestrial life, then died, I would look at every single file on the flash drive to see what there was. But not Lucy. She just wears it around her neck like some kind of talisman. In fact, I can’t recall she ever used a computer at all with the exception of when other people used one around her to show her something. And even then! Even then! She showed no further curiosity, even when this other bombshell is possibly dropped (because Lucy is not curious enough to verify whether it is true or not), she does not look at the flash drive again. Lucy is the most developed character, and that is saying something when she comes across as flat on the page.

The last third of the book was difficult to follow. I am a fairly close reader, but I found myself confused and wondering if I had missed something. The threat of Perpetuity never seemed all that real, and I couldn’t bring myself to be afraid that a group like that would really be all that concerned about Lucy’s news, even if it did exist. The rewritten Genesis, when the reader finally gets to read it, is just kind of boring, and the reader never really gets a good look at Lucy’s flash drive because, as I said, she is not curious. She drove me nuts with how incurious she was. It was ridiculously easy for other characters to hide things from her or to trick her.

What makes me sad about this book is that Sena Jeter Naslund’s novel [amazon_link id=”B000FC10KC” target=”_blank” ]Ahab’s Wife[/amazon_link] is absolutely brilliant. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I fear that readers who read this book might never move on to discover Ahab’s Wife because they are put off by this book, which tries to be an allegory but winds up just being kind of a confusing mess. This book might do better if it were marketed as science fiction instead of literary fiction, but even so, I’m afraid it didn’t hold together for me. If you have not read any Naslund, please do not let this review dissuade you from trying her because she is brilliant! Just not in this case. Read my review of Ahab’s Wife and give it a try, but skip this one. To be fair, all of the other tour members seemed to like the book better than I did, so your mileage may vary, but do read the reviews on Goodreads and go into this one with your eyes open.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to participate in my first book tour. Full disclosure: The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

You can visit other stops in the tour for Adam & Eve.

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6 thoughts on “Adam & Eve, Sena Jeter Naslund

  1. You gave this a 2/5 on Goodreads, & according to their site, that translates as "it was ok." Do you have your own translation scale? (You may have already told me this before.)

    1. That was the part I couldn't understand. Why did she never peek at it! It turns out to be the most frustrating MacGuffin, though.

    1. Thanks Heather! I really think Naslund is a great writer; I just didn't connect with this particular book. I am, however, loving the book I'm reading now.

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