Author: T.K Thorne
Publisher: Chalet Publishers
Type of book: 5524-5500s PME, biblical story, stripping away myths and bible, Noah, Na'amah, love triangle, Turkey, the great flood, rape, great sea, relationships between women, household
Year it was published: 2009
ForeWord Review's BOOK OF THE YEAR for Historical Fiction (2009) Noah built an ark, but this story has never been told! Noah's wife is Na'amah, a brilliant young girl with a form of autism (now known as Aspergers). Na'amah wishes only to be a shepherdess on her beloved hills in ancient Turkey--a desire shattered by the hatred of her powerful brother, the love of two men, and a disaster that threatens her world.
The main characters include Na'amah, the youngest daughter of Lamech and younger sister of Tubal-Cain. She is an asperger's savant and can often sense earthquakes and is best described as bit of an atheist. Tubal-Cain is Na'amah's older brother who is an interesting antagonist, where you both feel disgust and pity for him. Savta is Na'amah's grandmother and is a very strong woman who is Na'amah's caretaker as well as her main mainstay and supporter. I have to say that I really liked Savta. Noah is a boat-maker and is gentle and shy, a much better likable character than the one Rebecca Kanner painted. Other characters include Inka, a captive woman that Na'amah meets who also becomes a caretaker for Na'amah's household and Vashti, a daughter of the priestess who is a bold and dedicated woman. One of the men that's memorable is Yanner, Na'amah's childhood friend who has a strong love for Na'amah and will do whatever he can for her.
You are more powerful than you know, there are strengths and weaknesses for everyone.
The story is told in first person narrative from Na'amah's point of view, thus we see things completely from her point of view. From my familiarity with Asperger's, she feels realistic and I also think her character will be a good role model for women who have this form of autism. As she grows up as well, she becomes more and more aware of people and their emotions and she also gains more re-known and power. The book is a bit similar to Rav Hisda's Daughter because it also portrays travel through ancient lands as well as their beliefs and what they have done, but unlike Rav Hisda's Daughter, there seems to be no direct magic and the characters are more polytheistic than monotheistic, which is okay. I am curious about how legends about Noah and Na'amah form and hope that the author will envision or address this issue in her future works.
Ironically, this is the second book that I ended up reading about Noah and the flood, told from Noah's wife's point of view. Previously I've read Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner, which I've loved and enjoyed greatly and which followed the biblical story very closely. Comparing that book to this is like comparing oranges to apples and this book is destined to satisfy the historical scratching of those who wonder what the world is like when legend and myths are stripped away and we are ultimately left with all too human characters that can easily be killed and bruised? The world is fierce, brutal yet compelling and you quickly want to savor Na'amah's words and sensations for they are incredibly unique in literature. The sentences themselves are like a work of art. I look forward to reading more books by this author, and am sorry it took such a long time for me to read and review the book. Most interesting part is that I should have posted this review on the first night of Chanukkah, on December 17th, but instead I'm posting it on the last night of Chanukkah, December 24th.
This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour
5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)