September 28, 2018
First Family by Alice Langholt
First Family is a poignant retelling of the biblical story of the first man, the first woman, and their offspring written by Alice Langholt.
The first man wakes up in a beautiful garden totally clueless about everything around him albeit in awe of his surroundings. Trusting ‘The Voice’ for guidance, he is completely assured that everything is going to be alright and that he is provided with everything he needs. So, the man goes about discovering the wonder of his world and eventually realizes that he is alone. Then, he wakes up with an ache in his side beside a creature just like him whom he has never seen before. They are Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.
Told alternately between the first-person perspectives of all the characters: Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and God, this is a well-written personal interpretation of the author of the monumental events that took place not only in 'the garden' but also outside 'the garden' after the first man and the first woman were sent away.
The author does a great job with character development which is, apparently, based on how the members of the first family were depicted in the Bible. I can describe the portrayal of each character as convincing and relatable. The author adeptly illustrates the curiosity, the confusion, the sadness, the fear, as well as the hope, the courage, the strength, the will to survive, and the determination to gain God’s favor.
In a seemingly simple retelling, the author successfully brings up significant subjects such as maternal love, paternal love, arrogance, envy, jealousy, rejection, pain, grief, loss, and other human weaknesses. Moreover, she presents how a husband and father should be to his wife and children: provider, protector, companion, leader, and example and how a wife and mother should be to her husband and children: nurturer, supporter, helper, and inspiration.
Needless to say, I enjoyed this book a lot and I like everything about it. However, other readers may view the book as subjective and a little presumptuous.