Friday, May 14, 2010

REVIEW: Infinity in the Palm of her Hand by Gioconda Belli

Has anyone else attempted the Book of Genesis and failed? Try as I might to read the Bible, my eyes tend to glaze over after the several paragraphs of “so and so begat so and so” and I am forced to put it down. Some day I will persevere in the reading of the Bible but until then, I get to read richly imagined books like Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand by Gioconda Belli which tells the story of Adam and Eve and what happens after they are expelled from the Garden of Eden.

It is refreshing to see the most famous couple in history as well fleshed out characters that you can form a clear picture of in your mind as you read. As Belli points out in the introduction, only 40 lines in the Bible mention Adam and Eve. So who were they really? What were they like? Belli tries to answer that here and does an admirable job. Here we see Eve as a woman who made a conscious decision to eat of the fruit on the forbidden tree. She is shown what the world would be like with knowledge and all the people and civilizations that would come to be because of that decision. He is shown as a loving, strong man who when given knowledge contemplates concepts like life and death. The book becomes even more interesting after they are expelled from the Garden and must live in the real world. We journey along with the pair as they discover pain, confusion, the means for survival, and as they experience childbirth and begin civilization.

The author does a fantastic job of making Adam and Eve and their offspring feel so real and alive and their reactions as they go through their trials are exactly as I would imagine someone reacting in situations such as those described. Obviously, this is a fictitious account of what might have happened after the expulsion from the garden but it is an entertaining and beautifully written one. My only complaint was there was a rather odd moment involving one of the daughters of Adam and Eve towards the end of the book and also the book was not very long. This was my first book by this author. It definitely will not be my last.

If the FTC is wondering: This book is from my own personal library

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