3 out of 4 stars
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While growing up, Eva’s best friend was her Christian mother, who charmed her with stories from the Bible. One story she recalled was of Eve eating the apple from the Tree of Life. Her mother passed away in the 1970s when Eva was ten years old. She encountered Misty on that day, and they became best friends. Eva’s father was not good at expressing his love and was emotionally unavailable. Because she possessed no other friends, Misty and the two horses that Eva frequently passed and fed prevented her from getting severely depressed.
However, Misty and Eva began growing apart as their personalities were vastly different. Misty started hanging out with other friends. Then, the horses were sold, and Eva felt anger developing inside of her. With no one to discuss her sadness with and nothing to look forward to, her resentment and depression kept growing until she started slowly spiraling out of control and losing control of her sanity. She blamed Eve for eating from the apple and bringing evil into the world, and she suffered from increasing nightmares about Eve. Just as Eva was about to give up any expectations for happiness, a ray of hope comes in from an unexpected source.
Finding Eve by Deborah McDonald is 312 pages, broken down into 36 chapters, an “Epilogue,” and a section titled “Bible References,” which lists the Biblical verses that are interwoven throughout the book. It is narrated from the third-person point of view, from Eva’s perspective. I felt like the story dragged a little at the beginning, but it soon became more fascinating and held my interest. The flashbacks in the novel are consistently in italics, making it easy to know the story is now in the past. It has excellent flow, and Eva’s character is well developed. The author’s descriptive and easy-to-understand prose immerses the reader in the novel, helping one to experience Eva’s emotions, her despair, and her happiness. Her ability to capture emotions is my favorite aspect of the book. The story offers inspiration to those people who have lost hope.
This poignant story has to do with mental illness, with underlying themes of the importance of family and friends and how God’s love is required in order to heal. Because God, Jesus, and scriptures from the Bible play a critical role in the book, it is more suited for those of the Christian faith. One of the refreshing things I appreciated about the novel was the lack of profanity and sex, with the sole exception of a rape that was alluded to.
Unfortunately, some formatting issues were encountered where the lines were not always indented the same. Additionally, I found a few too many grammatical errors. While these were not distracting, there were over ten. Therefore, it could use another round of editing. This was my least favorite aspect of the tale.
As I thoroughly enjoyed this poignant, character-driven story, it achieves a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. One star was taken away because of the slow beginning and the formatting and grammatical errors. Because the story took place in the 1970s and ‘80s near a small town named Havenville, it will bring back memories of the way life was for many readers who lived during those years. For people who were not born yet, it will offer them a taste of history. The novel is a wonderfully uplifting tale for readers of the Christian faith, giving hope to those going through hard times. However, if fast-paced, suspenseful books are your favorites or you don’t enjoy reading Christian literature, you might want to look elsewhere.
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