First things first: the first woman and first dog

Eve: A Novel of the First Woman

by Elissa Elliott

Imagine that an anonymous benefactor just bestowed upon you an unexpected gift: a new home with everything you could ever want in it. The temperature in this home is always just right; the furniture, comfortable. You’re never hungry, because meals magically appear at your table. Exploring this magnificent home becomes more entertaining than anything you’ve ever seen on TV, and the landscaping astounds you. The cost? Not a penny.

But then, one little mistake – one very human error – and you’re booted from this home and out on the streets. How would you live with the memories of time spent in Paradise? In the new audiobook, “Eve,” by Elissa Elliott, you’ll hear a woman’s epic story of loss and love.

Once upon a time, there was Eden, and it was beautiful. Animals roamed, flowers bloomed and Elohim was there. But that was then, and now, pregnant with her latest child, Eve struggles with memories of a happier time. She recalls innocent days when she could spend hours in the Garden, just listening to Elohim. Now, when she speaks to Him, He never answers. She wonders if He still loves her. She wonders if He will ever forgive her.

Eve remembers learning to know Adam, and the delight they had in naming the animals. She remembers the joy of newness. She also remembers how the serpent tricked her and how Elohim was hurt by her betrayal.

It had been a struggle since their banishment, but Eve’s family is surviving: Cain, headstrong and angry over nothing; Sensitive Abel, now a shepherd; Naava, on the verge of womanhood and reaching for independence; Aya, smart and resourceful, despite her handicap; and the twins – double gifts – Dara and Jaken.

But everything changed when the People from the City came to visit. Taken aback by the sight of the women, Eve reluctantly gave them what they wanted. Though it hurt her heart, she let them take something precious to her, never knowing that it would set her family down a path of destruction, loss of faith, violence and death.

Do you have a patient boss? You’d better hope so, because listening to “Eve” on your commute is going to make you late. You’ll want to hear “just one more minute” of this positively beautiful novel.

Spinning a tale that’s both lush and lyrical, Elliott gives Eve a complex humanity as a mother worried about her children and as a wife who sees her husband slipping away. She feels bereft and abandoned; powerless to stop the changes she sees. Elliott’s story sticks pretty close to the Biblical version, though still making Eve seem familiarly, comfortingly contemporary.

What I liked best about this audiobook is that it’s read by three different performers. Sandra Burr, Tanya Eby Sirois, and Ellen Grafton each bring their characters to life, which gives “Eve” even more listenability.

Take this audiobook to work with you. Take it home, take it on vacation, but don’t miss it. If you crave a novel experience, “Eve” will be Paradise to you.

First Dog

by J. Patrick Lewis and Beth Zappitello, illustrated by Tim Bowers

What do you do when you’ve lost something and you need to find it quick? The first thing you probably do is holler for your Mom. She usually knows where everything is. Then, you start looking in your room, beneath your bed, in your closet, in your toy box, under the table, between the sofa cushions and anywhere you think you might have lost whatever it is you’re looking for. Eventually, you find it in the perfect hiding place for things like that.

In the new book, “First Dog,” by J. Patrick Lewis and Beth Zappitello and illustrated by Tim Bowers, a young puppy is searching for something, too. You may be surprised at where he looks.

Once upon a time, a small black Dog was looking for a home. He didn’t want just any old home, though. He wanted the perfect home, so he decided to go in search for one. Maybe, he thought, if he looked all over the world, he might find the best place in the world to live.

So, he took a bus, hitched a ride, rode the train, hopped aboard a boat and started in Newfoundland. There, he found a Newfoundland dog who loved to rescue people. Dog knew he wouldn’t be any good at rescuing, so he moved on.

In England, he found a slobbering English bulldog. Nope, the perfect home wouldn’t be with such a snort-nosed dog like that!

In France, he found a dog with foofy hair and no pants! In Croatia, Dog met a spotted pooch who refused to play tic-tac-paw. There was an elegant borzoi in Russia and a wrinkly Shar-pei in China, but none of those dogs had the perfect home.

Dog met a wild dog in Australia, but the dingo wore him out. In South Africa, he found a Rhodesian Ridgeback. There was a Peruvian Hairless dog in South America and a Chihuahua in Mexico, but there was no home in any of these countries for a small, black dog like Dog. But then, after he got back, he saw another newspaper that gave him another idea. Someone in a big White House was looking for a puppy…

When “First Dog” crossed my desk, I fell instantly in love with the cover. The front of this book is so irresistibly adorable that you’ll want to bring it home for your kids, based just on a first impression. Fortunately, the same colorful artwork continues inside this book.

By itself, “First Dog” is delightful: the illustrations are appealing to adults and kids alike. The story is instructive and interesting. If you’ve got a 4-to-7-year-old who loves dogs wholeheartedly, they’ll love this book. You’ll love the artwork. Just be ready to howl a little in adult-sensibility-based disappointment.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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