EVE: HER STORY by Penelope Farmer


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Didactic, rather melodramatic retelling of the Eden myth from Eve's point of view. Farmer (author of such YA novels as Standing in the Shadow and Year King) bases her Eden on some of the older Jewish creation myths that have Adam married first to Lilith (both Adam and Lilith having been fashioned out of clay by Jehovah); yet who should pop out of Adam's side one day, fully grown, but Eve? She and Adam immediately become lovers, much to Lilith's chagrin, and then Eve wanders about the Garden for pages at a time, meeting the serpent (who has arms and legs and a nice line of patter); archangels like Michael, quite stiff and bureaucratic; and even the fallen angel Sammael, skulking around in the woods. Eve learns of the future through the serpent's endless store of biblical stories (and Sammael's disturbing foretelling of the death of Abel), but she is unable to understand these things fully--as yet, she doesn't even know where babies come from. When Lilith finally gives up and wanders off for good, Eve decides to eat from the fruit of knowledge, the fig (not the apple, the fruit of life, which the serpent is tempting her with). She gets Adam to go along and, bingo, the two are tossed over the wall. Despite a few imaginative touches (Adam has a kind of minor creative ability, for instance, and can bring landscapes into being), this is mainly an old (very) story, told in purplish prose, with many pronouncements about Good and Evil, Life and Death.

Pub Date: Jan. 18th, 1987
Publisher: Mercury--dist. by Kampmann (9 East 40 St., New York, NY 10016)