In the beginning there was the Serpent, there for Eve's awakening, and for all days since. Teacher, mentor, companion, friend, and more.
There was God. The Creator. Quick to anger. Dangerous. Majestic.
There was Adam: as God said, a joy to behold.
And there was Eve.
These four hold the future in their hands. And only Eve--or perhaps the Serpent, too--wonders what lies outside the Garden of Eden.
Character Development: 10/10 (wow)
Overall Enjoyment: 10/10
Age Appropriate? PG-13 (bordering on R, though)
Cussing: None whatsoever.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc: None.
Sexual Content: Yes. Sex is discussed in great detail, but in a analytical way rather than a provocative way. However, there are several graphic scenes.
Disturbing Images/Violence: One scene of graphic rape. Some animal-on-animal violence and some blood.
NOTE: Because some are sensitive to this, let me warn you: the author takes many liberties with the original Biblical tale. God is not portrayed as the God of Christianity and Judaism that we often hear of today, but as a more foolish, angry God. He could be considered the antagonist. That might bother some, but I am going to look at this book from an exclusively literary point of view, as a work of fiction and not a statement against any established religions. Please do not take offense and do not let this deter you from reading this beautiful book.
In The Garden, the reader is transported back to the beginning. Not the beginning most of us know as the Bible's first book, Genesis, but the beginning as it was conceived by the brilliant author, Elsie V. Aidinoff. She reconstructs the tale from its foundations and redefines two pivotal players, Eve and the Serpent. She does this with great grace, respect, and insight. This is a tale that explores humanity at its roots, strips our existence to the core, and paints everything we know about ourselves in a new light. A breathtaking journey.
Aidinoff's writing is beautiful. It is simple but poetic. Intensely clear and unashamed. Utterly and completely natural. It is the exact voice that the first woman on Earth would have--naive, curious, innocent, but aflame with passion and as headstrong as could be. Eve's raw, honest voice was a thing of beauty in itself. And the character was art.
In this tale, Aidinoff reconciles myth and science within the very confines of Eden itself. Her creativity knows no bounds. Her prose is strange, astonishing, surprising and entrancing. Her characters seem to fit snugly into archetypes but really defy all cultural ideas. The Garden is a compliment to human ingenuity, an elegant statement about freedom and choice, a re-imagining of a timeless story--but, in truth, it is simply an incredible work of fiction.