In a vastly different narrative than what readers have come to expect from best selling author Sena Jeter Naslund, Adam & Eve takes readers on an epic journey of extraterrestrial and religious proportions. Lucy Bergmann is a woman in love with her talented and romantic older husband Thom when he is tragically killed just moments before making an announcement that would change the world as we know it. An announcement that would prove we are in fact not alone in the Universe. Instead of sharing in this groundbreaking moment in his career as a renowned astrophysicist, Lucy is left a grieving widow with the only the sacred memories of her husband and a single disk drive that Thom placed around her neck for her solace. The disk drive is one of great importance since it contains all the data on his unshared explosive discovery.
Months later when called to the Middle East to participate in a conference in Thom’s honor, Lucy finds herself the chosen protector of a document that could repudiate all the former writings of organized religion itself. Entrusted with its care, she is now a target for many who want not only this codex but the information she has carried around her neck for months as well. Undertaking a journey of great danger, Lucy finds herself no longer the supportive wife but the keeper of knowledge herself.
Extraterrestrials, religion and violence in the name of God all come together to form Adam & Eve. In a book unlike any other, Sena Jeter Naslund once again proves that she can master narratives of multiple styles and subjects, from futuristic to historical, science fiction to literary; Naslund is a master of contemporary fiction and a modern day treasure as an author of works of such distinction and specialization. It is hard to think of another author whose works vary so drastically and yet the quality remains of such a level of mastery time and time again.
Above all each of her books invokes beautiful writing, an engaging and almost enchanting narrative and a message for readers. In this way Adam & Eve is no different as Naslund successfully communicates that violence is never the answer, no matter the religion or the message at stake. Violence only creates violence and never can be absolved even by the God in whose name it is so often undertaken. The work is multi-layered and sometimes hard to follow but for the reader who is willing to take the time and patience it commands, it is worth it all.
Some readers and even fans of the author may find it too much for their Saturday afternoon browsing but true fans will get lost and find themselves re-reading in order to find each gem within its pages. Research and the occasional re-read aside, this work is worth the challenge and even better for presenting more than your run of the mill story. While the puzzle pieces may be hard to put together at times, they do fit and the reader that does connect them will feel a deep sense of satisfaction and enlightenment at doing so. Adam & Eve is a commanding text that will educate and enthrall but not to be taken on as light reading since it does require a certain level of reader interaction and thoughtfulness to genuinely appreciate what Naslund has accomplished.