2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
First Family is a fictional account of Adam and Eve, written by Alice Langholt. Langholt uses her imagination to fill in what the Bible leaves unanswered, from Adam’s creation to Cain’s killing of Abel. Reading more like a journal, it is written in the first person with each character having their chance to tell their views. Even God and the snake have a few sections to share their thoughts on what occurred.
I am always hesitant when I see a fictional story covering a part of the Bible. The author can expand upon the story but still keep close to the Biblical text. Or, the author can stray far from the original source in creating their version. Unfortunately, Langholt uses too much artistic license and delivers the latter. The characters act and think contrary to what they do in the Bible. For an example, in First Family, Eve is angry and antagonistic toward God throughout. God has never spoken to her but only to Adam. She shows unbelief in Him and doesn’t think He will show up when her children give their offerings. However, in Genesis, God presents Eve to Adam as his helpmate (showing she at least had met God and knew he existed), and after she birthed Cain, Eve thanks God for her new baby (showing she had no ill feelings). Also, the author portrays Cain as a misunderstood boy with anger issues who accidentally kills his brother instead of doing it intentionally as in the Bible.
Free will and self-reliance are important themes throughout. Pertaining to these two, God’s character takes a hit when he appears aloof and doesn’t want the first couple to know He is with them. “They wonder if I’m there with them, yet I know that if I told them, they would act differently. They would ask me questions all the time, expecting answers when they should be searching within themselves for the answers. They would always behave as if I was watching them, judging them, and they’d be uneasy.” God says he knows how much it upsets Eve that He doesn’t talk to her, but that it is too late to start now. Langholt tries to paint Him as a loving father, but He appears more like one who is inept and doesn’t want to be bothered.
In the middle of sentences, random numbers and the name of the book appear on every page. After a while, this became distracting and hindered the reading. The editing though was done well.
There were two positives for me. I liked how the author expressed the different ways we can sense God, whether it be audible, in dreams, or through nature. Seeing how Adam and Eve dealt with Abel’s death was moving as well. Their disbelief of his death and the hope that the two shared in God bringing him back to life, can be relatable for many who have lost a loved one.
For me, Langholt took too much liberty with the account, and I give First Family a 2 out of 4 stars. I would only recommend this book to those who like to read untraditional fiction on Bible stories.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like melissy370's review? Post a comment saying so!