Read Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund Online


What Happened To Eden?The New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance returns with a daring and provocative novel that envisions a world where science and faith contend for the allegiance of a new Adam & Eve.Hours before his untimely—and highly suspicious—death, world-renowned astrophysicist Thom Bergmann shares his discovery of extratWhat Happened To Eden?The New York Times bestselling author of Ahab's Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance returns with a daring and provocative novel that envisions a world where science and faith contend for the allegiance of a new Adam & Eve.Hours before his untimely—and highly suspicious—death, world-renowned astrophysicist Thom Bergmann shares his discovery of extraterrestrial life with his wife, Lucy. Feeling that the warring world is not ready to learn of—or accept—proof of life elsewhere in the universe, Thom entrusts Lucy with his computer flash drive, which holds the keys to his secret work.Devastated by Thom's death, Lucy keeps the secret, but Thom's friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad, contacts Lucy with an unusual and dangerous request about another sensitive matter. Pierre needs Lucy to help him smuggle a newly discovered artifact out of Egypt: an ancient codex concerning the human authorship of the Book of Genesis. Offering a reinterpretation of the creation story, the document is sure to threaten the foundation of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions . . . and there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress it.Midway through the daring journey, Lucy's small plane goes down on a slip of verdant land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East. Burned in the crash landing, she is rescued by Adam, a delusional American soldier whose search for both spiritual and carnal knowledge has led to madness. Blessed with youth, beauty, and an unsettling innocence, Adam gently tends to Lucy's wounds, and in this quiet, solitary paradise, a bond between the unlikely pair grows. Ultimately, Lucy and Adam forsake their half-mythical Eden and make their way back toward civilization, where members of an ultraconservative religious cult are determined to deprive the world of the knowledge Lucy carries....

Title : Adam & Eve
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061579271
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 335 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Adam & Eve Reviews

  • Audra (Unabridged Chick)
    2019-01-13 16:28

    One-sentence summary: Widow Lucy hides secret Biblical document from evil Abrahamic fundamentalists, meets mentally ill man, saves document, man, self. World? Did... this book remind me of Dan Brown, Kate Mosse, and Paulo Coelho?: Yes, in a bad way. Did... I talk about this book non-stop for the last two days?: Yes, so I suppose in that sense, it was a good book. I just talked smack about it, though.Review: I didn't like this book -- but I should have. It has all the elements I typically enjoy: conspiracy, physics and space, theology, current events, lyrical language, sex -- and yet, Naslund managed to take all those fun elements and warp them into big, hollow caricatures. No one -- not even our heroine Lucy -- was developed; and yet, I don't think this was supposed to be a plot-driven novel (even though this book has plot in spades). I think we're supposed to be caught up and moved by the various, damaged characters, but not a one was particularly engaging or interesting. Somewhere I saw a reference to Naslund as being a bit Virginia Woolf-ish, and I can see that in this book. However, there's a big difference between attempting Woolfian prose and actually executing it, and sadly, Naslund is no Woolf. Disjointed ruminations stuck between scenes doesn't a Mrs. Dalloway make.I'm hesitant to get into the specific problems I had as I don't want to spoil anyone the numerous bizarre plot twists. Needless to say, I found her pacing and plotting problematic. There's an artificial sense of urgency due to the cabal of religious fundamentalists chasing after Lucy -- a particular sticking point for me, as I found Naslund's exoticization of Middle Easterners rather offensive and embarrassing. There's an unremarkable retelling of the Genesis story that was unimaginative and predictable. The book's opening borders on cartoonish. I'm unsure why Naslund set the book in the future -- 2017 through 2021 -- as much of the world she describes -- right down to the conflict in Iraq -- sounds contemporary.

  • Deborah Gray
    2019-01-02 13:12

    I could have wept with disappointment at this book. When you consider that Ahab's Wife is one of my favourites, how much I wanted to like this! How hard I tried! I even gave it an extra star, just because I know this author is capable of so much more. I hate to disparage any author. I know well the time, effort, perseverence and sheer talent it takes to get a book into publication. Yet, all I could think during the interminable reading of this book is that she must have embarked on a long, long, bad acid trip during the writing. And that everyone at William Morrow joined her, because editing was nonexistent in this dreary, meandering tome. Aside from disjointed, nonsensical plot, it alternated between self-important exposition, "look at me! Look at how much I know!" and dreamy musings about nothing interesting. It was awful. So awful that I kept reading to make sure that I wasn't misunderstanding something. Surely Sena Jeter Naslund, a brilliant talent, knew better. Eventually, Emperor's new clothes came to mind. There was no reasonable opportunity to suspend disbelief. Disbelief became my perpetual state during the entire FIFTEEN hours it took to listen to it on MP3. Yes, I listened to it, walked, made dinner, gardened, drank wine, drank more wine and lamented the fifteen hours I will never get back.I am trying not to insert any spoilers, but it's so hard. Suffice it to say, it started with such an interesting, intriguing premise, the promise of so many of great genres: thriller, sci-fi, romance, historical, and delivered on NONE of them. The questions that were asked were never answered, the questions that SHOULD have been asked never were, the characters were wooden and reacted oddly to situations that demanded so much more. Why did Lucy crash? Why was no one looking for anyone who was missing? Families? Army? Friends? Governments? Why would Lucy have been entrusted with supposedly the most important document in the world to begin with? What was Adam doing in Mesopotamia in the first place? What was Riley doing there? Eternal optimist that I am I still hoped for redemption in the end, but there was none! It was even crazier, more disjointed than the rest of the book. I won't give up on this author, but will be far more cautious about my selections of her work in future.

  • Shannon
    2018-12-31 15:04

    This book included a collection of very, very random things - a blue man, war, nudity, religious conflict, extraterrestrial life, a cheating spouse, a feral boy, cave paintings, sacred codex, a memory stick, a woman who is pilot, seamstress, artist and therapist, death by piano, fashion, a stone vulva, etc. It all comes together through the book, but not very well...and in a hard-to-believe way.I loved "Ahab's Wife" and was lukewarm with "Abundance", this was the end of a downwards trend. I don't think I'm going to read a book by this author again. The author still had her wonderful descriptions, but they distracted me from the plot, sub-plot, the description of the character's history, the sub-sub-plot, the flashback, the hallucination, the sub-sub-sub-plot. Once in a while, I hit a section that I really enjoyed, just for the scene to change AGAIN. There is a lot of discussion about the book of Genesis, but I have to admit to skimming over most of it. By the time the discussion got serious, I had pretty much given up hope on this book.

  • Cherie
    2019-01-17 16:21

    I picked up this book from the library expecting an interesting read from a well-regarded novelist. I do enjoy books that analyze biblical themes and I am open-minded about the different perspectives and forms this can take. This book fell far short of my expectations and easily lands into the category of the worst books I have ever read. It suffers from inconsistent tone, flat characters,unconvincing dialogue, and a plot devoid of any real suspense or surprise.The section of the novel that focuses on Eden is the most interesting section of the book, though the author leaves loose ends as she moves from Eden back to the chase scene narratives that dominate the rest of the book. There are philosophical discussions of faith, art and fidelity. None of them reach the potential depths such worthy topics deserve. It is rare for me to root against the protagonist of a novel, but the main character here is not worthy of much consideration.I do not know if this book is an anomaly in the author's collection; however, it does not pique my interest in reading her other books.

  • Sharyl
    2019-01-17 13:12

    Lucy Bergman was married to Thom, a brilliant astrophysicist who quietly made an important discovery concerning extraterrestrial life. Thom kept all his greatest secrets on a flash drive, which he attached to a cord and affectionately hung on Lucy's neck. She considered it an act of faith and trust that he wanted her to carry his most cherished possession.This story is set in the near future, when fundamentalists from three major religions have grown dangerously defensive about any scientific discoveries that could possibly raise questions about their most basic beliefs. From this fear, a group called Perpetuity is formed, which ironically requires men from these disparate groups to actually cooperate to prevent science from getting in the way of a good rapture.Unfortunately, one day as Lucy is racing to meet Thom at the hotel where he is to make one of his presentations (she has his memory stick, remember), she witnesses his death: a grand piano, which is being hoisted into a window several stories up suddenly crashes to the ground and lands on top of him. This turns out to be a rather, um, orchestrated death. Certainly an unusual one.Meanwhile, a man named Pierre Saad (of French and Egyptian ancestry), has made an archaeological discovery concerning the writing of Genesis (the genesis of Genesis). He is eager to find someone to smuggle this ancient document out of Egypt into France, where he won't be so closely watched by members of Perpetuity. A few years after Thom's death, he catches up to Lucy, who just happens to be a pilot. Pierre is smooth and charming, while Lucy is still depressed and at loose ends, so she agrees to pilot a plane and smuggle this codex out of Egypt in a very well sealed French horn case.At this point, this particular reader is having some problems with this plot. Lucy knows that she's just taking Pierre's word that there's no dope or weapons involved, even though she barely knows him. And, when she leaves, there's no mention of a flight plan or that she has permission to just fly from Egypt to France.Lucy crashes. I don't know why; it's not explained. Before she hits the ground, though, she throws out the precious French horn case, so it won't burn up. Obviously, Lucy the atheist (I forgot to mention that she's an atheist) must be a real believer in whatever is in this case. I do understand why she'd be sympathetic to Saad's quest, since her late husband was also a scientist who guarded his work and was careful about how he presented it, but somehow it seems superhuman to be thinking about Saad's cargo while her life is in peril.After Lucy lands, she manages to drag herself to a beachy shore, despite some severe pain from the burns on her back. At this point, she doesn't know where she is and does not understand why there's a beach here or the appearance of redwood trees surrounding this place. Redwood trees in the Middle East! I was beginning to be reminded of Life of Pi, for indeed, Lucy has landed in a mysterious place and is rescued by a man named Adam who wants to call her Eve. He has been praying to God for a companion, and her she is! In fact,everything they need seems to just materialize. The weather is also perfect, which is a good thing because they're both naked.This is the segment of the book I found most intriguing, simply because of Adam. How did he get there? Well, he does remember being thrown off a truck. Not just that, but being beaten and raped and then thrown off the truck. Adam tries to describe how his life was saved by a strange boy who fed him and gave him water as he lay baking in the dirt. He was a soldier in a Middle Eastern war, but we don't learn what else he saw or had done to him during his tour of duty. Adam is usually here now, living in the moment, but he occasionally fills us in a little bit: his father was a tyrant, he had several younger brothers, and he was no angel. He dropped out of college and he has artistic ability. And major issues. However, living in the moment, Adam is amazingly resourceful, clever, and functional. He's even happy, when thoughts of the past don't cloud his vision.Then, one day, there's another crash, and a soldier parachutes from the sky and becomes tangled up and caught in one of the redwoods. Adam finds a way to get him out, and so a third character, Riley, enters the scene. Suddenly, Lucy feels naked and fashions herself an orange outfit from Riley's parachute, complete with bubble hem and puffy sleeves. Riley's a nice young man, and Lucy observes how Adam becomes a little more normal around him. Unfortunately, Riley is murdered by a wild child, a feral boy who inhabits this land, and after that, Eden is no longer the same. This boy has sacrificed a lamb, and suddenly, the animals around them are no longer a peaceable kingdom.It is at this point that Adam confesses that he has the French horn case that Lucy's been searching for. He hid it because he didn't want her to leave, but now they must go, and they do. It is around this point in time that Adam and Lucy become lovers. Adam has expressed the hope that she would be his wife, and stated that he'd always feel this way, but it takes awhile for Lucy to see him as anything other than a younger man afflicted with delusions.It is an arduous journey on foot, quite a contrast to their easy life in Eden (for lack of another name). When they come across an airstrip in the middle of nowhere, Lucy immediately decides to go looking for help. Coincidentally, a plane lands and who should appear but Gabriel Plum, an old friend she knew because he was a colleague of Thom's. Gabriel is no angel, though, and after running to Gabriel and greeting him, she realizes that this is no coincidence--Gabriel wants that memory stick. And the other two men in the plane? They are wearing sterotypical costumes that label them as Jewish and Muslim. Lucy knows tht Gabriel is a devout Christian. Right away, she knows she's being hounded by Perpetuity. Adam, who's been listening, suddenly yells, "Run!" Which she does, making a bee line for the plane. Adam quickly overpowers these three older men and joins her.So, Lucy and Adam fly out of the greater Bagdad area to France with the precious Codex, but first, before they go to visit Pierre Saad, they go shopping with Gabriel's money (he left his wallet in the plane), so they can show up looking quite fashionable.Pierre Saad's place in Paris, which he is sharing with his daughter Arielle, is another kind of Eden, and underneath this wonderful house of his is a series of caves with artwork dating back thousands of years. Pretty cool. After he shows his guests this secret of his, Pierre sits down to do some serious translating. In a couple days, he calls his three companions together to read the precious codex, and when he finished, I thought--is that all there is? Is that all there is to the codex?After that, there is another chase scene in which Gabriel and his two nameless friends show up at Pierre's house and chase them all through the caves. They separate and meet up on the other side, except for Adam, who has been shot in the ankle and is bleeding very badly. Don't worry, his friends do find him, but the details are sketchy.It all ends very happily for the four friends. Adam marries Arielle (he changed his mind about Lucy), and Lucy is happy with Pierre. Arielle and Lucy are both pregnant, possibly by the same guy, but that's okay; Lucy and Pierre care not who the father is.It all ends a bit muddled for me. I am left wondering many things: could Thom really have been the only astrophysicist in the world to have made his discovery, even though years have passed since his death? And we never do find out exactly what is and what isn't on that memory stick. Was this Eden place all a dream? How much of it was real? Was the translation of the codex ever published, and if so, what was its impact? In the end, how is Adam--really? Are they ever terrorized by Perpetuity again? They seemed strangely impotent; if they were a real threat, they'd have obtained anything they'd wanted from a single, unarmed woman long ago.Lucy does intend to seek out the right people to examine Thom's memory stick, but that is sometime in the future. For now, though, this is a happy foursome.Obviously, I didn't much like this novel. Naslund's writing style is very nice, but I'm afraid that this story was just--silly. It's quite a departure from her earlier historical novels, such as Ahab's Wife and Four Spirits, and it seems that she was out of her element this time.**I obtained this novel from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer giveaway

  • Rachel
    2019-01-08 13:58

    I will start by saying that Ahab's Wife is one of my favorite books, and my high expectations for this book might be the source of my loathing. It is rare that I choose a book and don't end up liking it, but I was so tired of this book by the time it was over! It has some very elegant and beautiful writing, but there was so much schmeared into each paragraph that to me it felt overly self-indulgent, contrived and self-important. The plot of the book could be condensed into a chapter (and I'm not usually too attached to a fast-paced plot). Grrrrrr! On the other hand, there were some lovely ideas about humanity, art and religion "hidden" in the book. If this had been a non-fiction book I would have loved it, but she had to try and shove her philosophical questions into these caricatures of trite characters- the beautiful exotic Middle Eastern woman, the wise old man, the handsome daring American man, the independent maturing woman. Thanks SJN for making me so cranky. :(

  • Amy
    2019-01-19 11:11

    Sena Jeter Nashlund’s latest, Adam & Eve defies description. Part adventure, part mystery, part romance, part thriller, part allegory; a story about religion, art, science, rebirth, and creation, it is nearly impossible to summarize. Due to the fact the Adam & Eve has a trilleresque feel the reader will feel compelled to race to the finish, to the conclusion of the story, however the beauty and true skill of Nashlund’s writing is in what is left unsaid, or better yet, unexplained. An example is the following quote: “The Sufi father taught the boy as he grew that the text is always open to new interpretations because story conjures images, pictures partaking of the infinite transcend both space and time” (pg.216). In Adam & Eve Nashlund has created a thought provoking if perplexing read, that will naturally lend itself to book discussion.

  • Lee
    2019-01-19 12:01

    This book is a little odd. I wouldn't recommend it for Sena Jeter Naslund's fans of straight historical fiction. It felt a little disjointed at the beginning and it's a strange mix of contemporary and speculative fiction with forays into art, religion, and a kind of thriller which I thought was the most unworkable part of the story. I like books that make me think about the big picture and I enjoyed the development of the characters. The portion of the book set in modern day Eden was the best part and is largely why I'm awarding it four stars but I can understand why others have not been as thrilled.

  • Laura
    2018-12-22 14:12

    "I hope Adam & Eve will not be read as a straight realistic novel. It moves in metaphoric ways. In some ways it is a sort of fable, though I stop short of letting the animals talk. To enjoy the novel, don't expect brick-and-mortar logic. Hang loose and swing imaginatively into the events and settings. The story is partly a dance of ideas."The quote above is from the P.S. interview with Seta Jeter Naslund at the back of the copy of the book that I received, and it is a quote that helped me immensely in understanding the novel. The New York Journal of Books is prominently quoted on the cover calling Adam & Eve, "a book unlike any other," and I would say that for me, that quote is certainly true. It isn't exactly that I didn't understand the novel, as the plot is relatively straightforward, although unexpected. I just didn't know what to do with it, and still don't a little bit.Naslund's book begins with Lucy Bergmann, the wife of a prominent astrophysicist, sitting in a hotel room in Amsterdam, as a grand piano falls and kills her husband. Far away, in a desert in Mesopotamia, a young soldier is awakening on a beach in what he considers to be a new Eden. The paths of these two will cross, as Lucy attempts to accomplish a top secret mission, finding herself in the same Eden. Both Lucy and Adam are damaged, and need a way to start anew. Both find a beginning at The Beginning, in Genesis. All of this is very strange, but compelling. I enjoyed reading about the Eden in which the two live, and the relationship that develops between them as they build a new reality, very different from their old ones.Unfortunately, that isn't the only thing that is going on in the novel. There is a more philosophical, less conspiratorial, DaVinci Code-like plot going on with some ancient sacred texts and a group of religious fundamentalists, Perpetuity, invested in getting their hands on them. There is also the issue of the flash drive that Lucy wears around her neck, containing her husband's discovery of life on other planets, another piece of information that frustrates the fundamentalist worldview. All of these plots are interesting, and for the most part, I enjoyed following all the leads. It is only in the end where tying them all together feels a little messy and hurried, and I was disappointed in the way that some of the relationships turned out, although I won't spoil the ending.It isn't only in the plotting and premise that Naslund's book is "unlike any other." I found Naslund's writing to be fairly unique as well. There is a poetics to her prose, which often dives in philosophical inquiry, and then quickly surfaces back into a conventional narrative structure. Her descriptions and use of metaphor are often unconventional, and sometimes disconcerting. I would jump out of the narrative for a moment, to wonder why she would describe something that way. Why is there a cow wandering in the desert, for example? The quote I provided above, and reading about Naslund's intentions with the book, helped me to appreciate the style, which in the end, I think is comparable to a dance.Overall: I appreciated the uniqueness of the book, and would recommend it for anyone who is interested in the sorts of issues it presents: fundamentalism, sacredness, genesis, grief and trauma. However, it has been difficult for me to review the book in any conventional way, because it was an unconventional read and a lot of the terminology I would normally apply seems just a little unfitting.

  • Kate
    2018-12-30 16:14

    I hate to keep repeating the same comments, but the 'idea' of this story intrigued me, but ultimately turned out to be extremely strange, and unsatisfying. I think my biggest problem with fiction/sci-fi books is that I was was weaned on "The Twilight Zone", "The Andromeda Strain", "Outer Limits", etc. The writers/storytellers, in the 1960's, were on burgeoning, unexplored territories, and put forth their thought-provoking ideas in such a way that I could not help but be drawn in. I would sit glued to the black and white television screen watching The Twilight Zone, and mesmerized beyond all expectations, for an hour, once a week. I would plan my week around this show.Then, by accident, I read "The Andromeda Strain", and I found the genre, in book form, as close to my love of "The Zone", and recently, few even come close. Most books in this genre are regurgitated tripe. Perhaps, my expectations are too high, today. This genre has been hashed, and rehashed so many times, and in so many 'versions' of the above, that nothing new is advanced, and therefore disappointing. I am going to have to look to other fiction for solice, but I doubt that I will find it. However, I keep hoping and praying, that another Rod Serling will arrive on the fiction, fantasy, horror, sci-fi scene, and entertain us with that high level of stylish,and taut social commentary, in Serling form, without the same ole' wash, rinse, and repeat. I've read all Stephen King's novels, Neil Gaiman, etc. King is good but he is no Serling, and Gaiman is just twisted, in my opinion. The bests of King is was the Gunslinger Series. I've read "The Hunger Games", etc., and did not find it to be any more creative than the rest of today's rehashed, and retrograde fiction. That said, I am looking into other genre's of fiction, but after reading over 1,200 new books over the past year, I doubt I will find what I am looking for. I would appreciate some in put here. Perhaps in the area of historical fiction???

  • (Kevin Bayer)
    2019-01-20 18:19

    I'm not sure what to say about this book. The description sounded interesting so I gave it a chance (the description gave it a kind of Da Vinci Code kind of feel). It just didn't do it for me though. A scientist discovers proof of extraterrestrial life. A discovery in the Holy Land of an ancient text that contradicts the biblical book of Genesis. A group from all three major religions that will stop at nothing to keep those secret. ...and a man (Adam) and woman (Lucy) that end up naked in a desert oasis seemingly just to have a naked man and woman in the story to give it that Adam and Eve feel.You almost had me at first there.To be fair, this book is not my usual genre. The plot had an almost dream-like randomness to it. Characters seem to do things with no motivation. Seriously? A woman crash lands her plane and all her clothes burn off. Convenient for the plot. She decides to stay in the oasis with a crazy man she's never met before that thinks he's the biblical Adam? And she's okay with this? There's a feral boy that feeds sheep hearts to unconscious people. Characters show up to advance the story and then disappear or die. There's some action in the book towards the end when the bad guys finally show up for a short chase through some caves. My favorite character was the old mule-riding father of Pierre. If the book had ended with Lucy waking up from a nap and realizing she was late for her lunch date with her husband, I would have believed the book more. Otherwise, it just didn't provided the book for me to review.

  • Krysten
    2019-01-15 19:01

    This might actually be the worst book I've ever read.Against my will, I liked Ahab's Wife. I liked it a lot, actually. So I read Abundance, and that was just so-so, but then Adam & Eve came out and I thought I'd give Sena Jeter Naslund another chance.What the hell!It was truly insulting to my intelligence. It tried very hard to be allegorical, and the characters were absurd, and the plot sucked ASS. At some point it devolved into a Dan Brown-esque thriller of illiterate proportions. It called on religious stereotypes and, well, all kinds of stereotypes, really. The main character was supposed to be some kind of prodigy in the field of psychology but you didn't get that sense at all. Nothing about the book seemed realistic in any way. And then you finally get to read the stupid fucking codex that these assholes had risked their lives to preserve and it was just some trite nonsense about loving your fellow man or some shit. I hated this book. I just absolutely hated it. The dialog was so awful I actually read some out loud to my husband and even he (no snob like I am) was horrified. Fuck this book. Seriously. I hope it dies. I'm actually afraid to reread Ahab's Wife for fear that I was an idiot and it's actually almost as bad as this book.

  • Jess
    2019-01-08 13:16

    So completely unsatisfying. I was ready to give up about two thirds of the way through, but figured I should finish since I'd already invested that much time in it. It reads like...nothing else I can think of. It's intentionally over the top at points - a man killed by a falling piano, two Americans stranded in an Eden-esque garden in the Middle East, ancient cave paintings, plane crashes, you get the picture. But none of those elements ever really come together to create any meaningful whole. It's just a bunch of pieces that could have been interesting if there was any real thread of connection, or if the characters had been more likable. Or maybe if they had been more unlikable, it would have worked. Some bits seemed like they were supposed to be realistic, other bits like fables, but all missing a moment of realization to bring them together. As an added bonus, the Biblical commentary felt unsophisticated and distracted from any real storytelling that might have happened in its absence. The big reveal of the translated codex? Completely underwhelming, leaving me confused as to why any of the religious groups would have been so eager to destroy it. The end result felt sensationalistic and flat at the same time. Stay away, unless you're in the mood to get annoyed.

  • JG (The Introverted Reader)
    2019-01-13 17:19

    Lucy Bergmann's husband Thom, is a brilliant physicist who is searching for life on other planets in the near future. He is killed in the opening chapter of the book, and we're led to believe that religious nuts who didn't want his discoveries published might have been behind his death. A few years later, Lucy herself is being pursued by a group of religious nuts as she transports an ancient document that will cast a new light on the story of Genesis.I do love Sena Jeter Naslund. I really do. I was thrilled when I won an ARC of her newest book through Shelf Awareness. I was so disappointed when I didn't understand it. I didn't understand it at all.I hate to write this, because it feels like I'm getting a little personal, but the plot was a mess. I don't know if this was supposed to be a religious thriller/conspiracy book, a pointed statement on the role of religion in world politics, a coming-of-age story, a meditation on marriage and self-identity--I just don't know. There are at least two distinct plots involving Lucy, and I don't understand how they fit together at all. While the scenes set in Eden were gorgeous and lush, I don't really understand how they were necessary. Oh, I get that it's something about the nature of man, but still, it's a long, beautiful section with about zero payoff that I could see. In case you're wondering, questioning religion does not offend me, so that's not the problem.The one thing I did love is Adam. I've written a long-ish blog post already about how much I love him. He's pretty much physically perfect, gorgeous, well-sculpted, loving, caring, but he's a little damaged emotionally and mentally. I don't know if there's a woman alive who could resist that combination!The very end was horrible! It felt cheap, and Sena Jeter Naslund is a much better author than that.I did like the alternate beginning of Genesis. I won't quote it here, because it comes at the end of the book, but I liked it. Religious conservatives might not.I would give the writing 4 stars and the plot 2 stars, but I just can't bring myself to average it out to 3 stars. I really need to understand why an author thought I needed to read this book, and I just wasn't there. So two stars it is.You might enjoy this more if you generally "get" magical realism. I can have trouble with it, so maybe that's where the problem lies.

  • Diane
    2019-01-04 15:06

    One of the oldest stories ever told, that of Adam and Eve, gets a unique remake of sorts in Sena Jeter Naslund's Adam & Eve.Lucy is in Amsterdam for a scientific conference with her husband Thom, an astrophysicist of renown, who tells Lucy that he has proof of extraterrestrial life. He gives Lucy a memory stick that contains all of his evidence.Thom is killed by a falling piano, and Lucy is devastated. Still grieving her loss three years later, Lucy is invited to welcome scientists to a conference in Cairo. It is too much for her, and she breaks down on stage.She meets a young woman who takes Lucy to her father, a scientist Lucy met at the conference. They convince Lucy to smuggle something out of Egypt for them- an alternate version of the book of Genesis that they have found buried.There are fundamentalist Christians, Muslim extremists and literalist Jews who have banded together to stop anyone from finding out about this discovery, even willing to kill to prevent the world from reading this other Genesis.Lucy agrees to fly a plane to France with the scripture, but her plane crashes and she is discovered by Adam, a young soldier who was kidnapped and assaulted by soldiers. Adam believes that Lucy is his Eve and that they are living in the Garden of Eden.This is a big book, full of so many themes it can make your head spin. Lucy and Adam's life in Eden parallels the Biblical story, particularly when another soldier lands in their garden. His presence dramatically changes the dynamic of the Garden. Is he the embodiment of the devilish snake from Genesis?The violence that is an everyday part of life in the Middle East is explored as a root cause of the rise of dangerous religious fundamentalism. Throw in the possibility of life on other planets and the fear of that knowledge endangering religious doctrine. Add in the discovery of very early human drawings in caves in France and you've got a lot to think about.Naslund has packed a lot of ideas into 350 pages, and her characters are well-drawn and interesting. Lucy and Adam's life in the garden is fascinating, and thriller fans will be rewarded with an action-packed sequence that resolves the story. Adam & Eve is the thinking person's answer to The DaVinci Code.

  • Trishnyc
    2019-01-22 14:05

    In 2017, Lucy Bergmann is walking to meet her husband for lunch when right before her, a piano that was being hoisted up a window falls and kills him. She is traumatized and floats around in grief for about three years. In 2020 she is invited to speak at an event honoring her husband and while on this trip she meets a scientist who was also acquainted with her husband. He asks her to transport a scroll that is of great importance to the world because its revelations will forever alter the three major monotheistic religions forever. For some mysterious reason, Lucy agrees and pilots a plane from Egypt to Paris. Unfortunately, her plane goes down somewhere in the Mesopotamian forest and here she meets a naked man (drop dead gorgeous of course) who is also marooned in the same forest. This gorgeous naked man is named Adam and they set up their version of the garden of Eden. read that right, its Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. And just as they are getting comfortable in their home, they find themselves running from killers who want to destroy the scroll that Lucy had set out to deliver.I am not even sure what happened here. I was really excited to read this book but even a day later, I am still in disbelief as to how much this book fell through. The characters are caricatures of real people running around spouting theological tenets that feel more like the author staging her ideas. In addition to all of this, the book is not sure what it is. Is it an anti religious tract, thriller, romance, or all of these and more? Personally I could not tell you because even after 335 pages, I was left with little in the way of insight. I guess it was all some great metaphor that I did not get.*Review Copy provided by Harper Collins publishers.

  • David Fox
    2019-01-21 18:21

    Lost in the Garden of EdenAmidst a cluttered landscape of radical creationists & paranoid rabbis living in the shadows of martyred relatives, Naslund's characters lamely weave a twisted tale of Adam searching for Eve in Lewis Carrol's Wonderland. Yes, this book is as warped as this opening paragraph. Naslund attempts to blend Dan Brown mystical elements with new age treatments of Genesis interspersed with dollops of bad cops & robbers. Adam didn't know if he was Adam or Harry searching for Sally. And then there's Lucy who Adam sometimes thinks is Eve, though he knows she's really Lucy in spite of the fact that Lucy enjoys being Eve. Confused? So was the plotting. It's very hard to believe this is the same acclaimed author who wrote Ahab's Wife. Clearly, something was amiss in the garden.

  • Jeanine
    2019-01-16 11:01

    Once this story got started, I sunk into it like a good fairy tale. I liked the idea of the Eden-like area for Adam and Lucy to recover in, healing both physical and emotional wounds. The foreshadowing of the end of the perceived magic in their Eden coincides, of course, with the intrusion of the outside world; you can see it coming, but Ms. Naslund carries you through it nicely. I was anticipating the big reveal at the end of the novel but was disappointed and left feeling kind of flat. Until that point I would have given this book a solid four stars but with the, "that's it?" feeling I got, I had to drop it to a three. Adam & Eve is a good book, but could use a bit more "oomph" at the end.

  • Freda Mans-Labianca
    2019-01-07 15:28

    This was a long read, even though it was fairly short in pages, I felt I had a tough time making it through. I can say that I appreciate the words the author used to write with. I may not have enjoyed what the words told, but I did enjoy how it was put together. Sena writes very eloquently, enough so that I can't help but wonder if she talks that way too.I couldn't connect with the story at all though. The characters well great, but I really didn't have any similarities to them and their story. I didn't even like that they eventually hooked up, I wouldn't have bothered with that, there was enough going on in the story already. I'm sure somehow it was all supposed to play in a part together, but it just didn't get there for me.

  • Jill Koren
    2018-12-23 11:12

    I think this is a very ambitious book. It caused me to think deeply about many things, including cave paintings and religious dogma, about which I might not otherwise have thought deeply. As a whole, however, it did not cohere. As I finished it, I couldn't help but think of Dorothy Parker's line about throwing the novel with great force, for that is exactly what I had the urge to do. So while there were many wonderful things about this novel, I was ultimately disappointed. Which made me sad, since I love so many of Sena's other books (really all of them). But I suppose it provoked a strong reaction, which means something.

  • Mara
    2019-01-17 15:18

    I had high hopes for this book, because I've enjoyed Naslund's previous books, especially Ahab's Wife and Abundance. Unfortunately, this book was a grave disappointment. It seems like Naslund was trying to do something a little different with Adam & Eve. The result is dialogue filled with non-sequiturs, plot points that are left dangling, and characters who say and do things with no apparent motivation or that are directly at odds with what they have said and done previously (with no accounting for the switch). Although Naslund is to be praised for trying something new, I hope that in her next book she will return to the style that has previously served her (and her readers) so well.

  • Kelley Heaney
    2019-01-08 18:01

    I wish I had good things to say about this story since I really enjoyed Ahab's Wife but this was not what I considered to be a good book. It was confusing, but not in a way that would make the reader really ponder what was being said or meant. The boy in the garden was strange, Adam was strange. The other pilot was strange (I don't even remember his name). The reader didn't feel the characters or what they were experiencing. There was no anticipaiting what would happen next. Quite frankly the only thing I was anticipating was the end of the book which I did finish but only because I kept thinking it had to get better.

  • Jessie J
    2019-01-19 12:58

    I don't think this novel was as magnificent as Ahab's Wife, but I love to be cradled along with Naslund's language, and I hadn't read anything of hers since AW. The story was fine; I kept picturing my current celebrity crush (Lee Pace) as Adam, so it was fun. I also liked the fact that she wrote part of it while living in my town, and I could pick out the references she might have inserted because of it. But it is her language that draws me, so I will remember to seek out more of her novels, as the mood strikes me.

  • Jackie
    2018-12-29 11:07

    Oh, my, there are so many layers to this book I don't even know where to start. It's a love story. It's an adventure story. It's a mystery. It's psychological suspense. It'sa thriller. It's magical. It's gritty. It's about religion. It's about science. It's about the past. It's about the future. There is art. There is murder. There is profound innocence. There is evil. It is a compelling, confusing, contemplative, page-turning, wondrous read.

  • Lawyer
    2019-01-05 11:19

    A would be thriller is not Naslund's forte. The story definitely has its moments and Naslund will keep your attention. I admit it, a grand piano as a murder weapon has a wild Gahan Wilson feel about it. On the level of rationality this book's about a half bubble off plumb. Naslund's best still remains in "Ahab's Wife."

  • Carolyn Tassie
    2019-01-10 12:21

    Very interesting book. Some of it I loved and some I was left wanting. I hope to read it again sometime. LOTS of discussion in the book club.

  • HellaGood
    2018-12-28 16:17

    I can't seem to get into this book so I think it's a sign that after two weeks I haven't read past chapter 4. It's boring and just plain dull. I feel like I wasted my time. GRRRR!!!!

  • Alice
    2019-01-22 11:05

    If you have to choose between this book or another to read... Choose the other book! Enough said.

  • Rocky Moore
    2019-01-08 17:04

    The climactic scene in this one moves at breakneck speed, especially compared to the pacing of the rest of the narrative. Naslund deftly shows readers multiple points of view on the Creation Story without ever getting preachy. When the characters finally get to translate the mysterious codex, I found myself torn. Part of me wanted to hold onto my old, ingrained beliefs while another part of me hungered for a new perspective, whatever it may be. Some instances in the book were a bit hard to swallow, but Naslund delivers a provocative tale that interconnects faith, feminism, science, and multiculturalism. Well worth the read!

  • Caitlin Batstone
    2019-01-22 19:26

    The cover has a blurb that says “A book unlike any other.” While I agree with that, I don’t think I liked it very much. The more the novel went on, characters made more insanely immoral, mostly violent decisions with very little justification. Or zero justification, for example, the feral boy’s actions. (WhAt WaS tHaT?!?) Too much plot, not enough character development.