Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: February 14, 2023
When the greatest joys she has ever known are stripped away, the first woman must find the courage to face an unknown future
The first time she opens her eyes, Eve gazes on one whose beauty nearly blinds her, whose breath is in her lungs. Her Creator takes her hand and gives her to another like her and yet different. Together, she and Adam experience pure joy as they explore Eden. Her favorite moments are when the Creator comes to walk with them, day after day.
Then everything changes.
Through one act of disobedience, Eve finds that her world is no longer a friendly place. With remorse in her heart, she must face the unknown future--the births, the deaths, the sacrifices, the loss of the only home she has ever known. Perhaps worst of all is the loss of trust, not only with her Creator but also with the man who shares her life. How will they ever survive out of Eden?
Bestselling biblical fiction author Jill Eileen Smith imagines the life of the first woman to ever live, unspooling an epic story of love, loss, and the promise of redemption.
Reviewer: Rob Seabrook
Closely following the course of the Biblical text, the early part of the narrative creatively expands and explains the story of creation, the Fall and then Adam and Eve's early years outside of Eden.
At the start, there is a great description of the creation process and of Eden, as designed by God, as well as a good description of the intimacy of the relationship they had with God. It means that after the fall, the loss of relationship and closeness to God is so profound. Adam and Eve need to learn how to live without that intimacy, still knowing and loving God, but from a different perspective. It lays the foundations for how we can now relate to God.
Reading it, you gain a much deeper understanding of the fall and its implications for Adam and Eve over their very long lives and hence for us. It really helps to understand the extent of what was lost.
There are reminders throughout the narrative that there is a subplot going on. Lucifer had fallen, too, he was jealous and deceitful, and there were spiritual battles going on throughout the world. These spiritual battles were influencing human behaviours.
As the story develops, it carries some ideas and themes that some may find more contentious, mostly because the Biblical narrative is so brief, so a lot has to be imagined. But this is the nature of the biblical fiction genre. It is handled with sensitivity and wisdom, and it will certainly lead the reader to think about what may have happened to Cain, his family, and subsequent generations. The story shows the contrast between those who continued to follow God, albeit in a fallen world, and those who followed a path with no God.
Whereas other biblical fiction novels often stop mid-way through Genesis 4, this one continues through Genesis 5. It is quite interesting to bring to life the generations after Adam and Eve to highlight the impact of sin entering the world, with just a few notable God-fearing exceptions. It shows the need eventually for intervention when Noah steps into the frame a little later on.
This book does what biblical fiction should do - to make the reader think. In this case, think about what those early years may have been like and what Adam and Eve and their descendants may have faced. The raging spiritual battles as the earth suffered the effects of sin taking over.
Eve is certainly depicted as a character who loves God. She disobeyed Him but never lost her love for Him, even when she felt distant. Sentiments many of us can associate with.
Thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
Biblical fiction is a genre I read very little of. But Smith is easily becoming a favorite, much like Tessa Afshar has become.
Given Eve's actions, and the consequences, I definitely wanted to read this story. She was the first sinner, so I was interested in her as a person as well as her potential perspective.
Spoilers are inherent and completely unavoidable with biblical fiction, especially by referencing the bible. What Smith does, with her style of writing, is give a voice and character perspective to biblical stories – bringing them to life in a way modern readers can relate to.
As with most biblical fiction stories, there will be some themes or components potential readers might have an issue with. There is what in the modern era we'd refer to today as incest. This was not an issue back in the "creation" times – after all, how did one populate the Earth with only two people? As a result, one has to read and view this through a different lens.
There is also detailed animal sacrifice as required by God for the sin Adam and Eve committed in the garden.
This begins with creation in the Unseen Realm – namely certain angels: Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. Then the "Adams" (Adam and his female companion) were created. The Creator places them in Eden, the garden, and gives them dominion over the Earth, animals, and plants.
As most who know the book of Genesis, Eve is tempted by a serpent to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, then she offers it to Adam. As a result, the two are cast out of the garden to fend for themselves and "cursed." It is then that Adam gives Eve her name.
Despite Adam's anger, they learn new ways of providing for themselves and populating the Earth as instructed. And, as we all know – there is the first murder as well – Cain killing Abel.
This story takes us from Eve's creation all the way up until her death. Though her death was not mentioned in the bible. Genesis 5:5 only mentions how long Adam lived.
In addition to Eve's story, readers also see the corruption of some of Adam's other sons and daughters. It also shows how the generations began to move away from the sacrifices that were required. They embraced their own ways and not the Creator's ways.
While the short chapters kept me reading, it did seem to get bogged down a bit with all the children and their stories as well. I enjoyed the three "UNSEEN REALM" scenes and felt more could've been added.
There was also a bit of confusion regarding one of Seth's offspring. He was referred to as Enosh – then later in the book, it reads as Enoch. After some research, Enoch is either Seth's grandson or great-grandson. As of note, Enoch was also the name of one of Cain's sons. A character guide or "family tree" might've been helpful with all the people involved, especially later in the story.
Like Smith's previous two books (both of which I've read), Miriam's Song and The Prince and the Prodigal, Daughter of Eden - Eve's Story is a standalone read. For those like me, looking for Adam's story, this gives quite a glimpse of that in this book as readers get his POV in addition to Eve's.
Additional POVs are Michael, Lucifer, Hasia (Cain's wife/sister), Cain (up until he is banished), Seth, and Enoch (Seth's descendant).
Fans of the genre and author are sure to enjoy this read. I am interested to see what story in the bible the author tackles next.
Despite this being biblical fiction, the book had some "intimacy" comments. It relies heavily on the events of the book of Genesis. There are very strong faith themes, references, and adherence to rituals.
Thank you to Revell for providing an advanced review copy through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was neither required nor requested. All words are mine.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"So we make the choices that are ours to make and leave the rest to God."
Jill Eileen Smith has tackled a really difficult part of the Old Testament spanning from Genesis 1 through the beginning of Genesis 6. This account starting from creation and ending with Methuselah, told from multiple points of view, is a fascinating look at the beginning of our faith.
Eve is the major contributor to the plot, and her guilt, shame, and desire for love and acceptance after the fall are palpable. In his anger and frustration at the burden of caring for his family, Adam is relatable. Their marriage shifts and matures during their long years on earth together. It's a very real picture of how God shapes and molds each man and woman individually and as a couple through the years.
Other human voices build the plot, and we meet Cain and his wife, Hasia, Abel, Seth, and Enoch. We also hear Archangel Michael and Lucifer's thoughts, making for a richer experience as events unfold. This is the most ambitious and creative Biblical fiction the author has penned to date. It made me re-read these Genesis chapters with a new appreciation.
I had hoped for a longer author's note with explanations of her research and reasons for how she addressed the vague areas. Perhaps the author will have a blog post or a newsletter after the book's release to satisfy my curiosity.
I received the book from the publisher and was not obligated to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Conny Withay
“Please forgive me, Adonai. Please come to us again. Show us how to live, how to survive this world, how to care for children, how to please You outside of Eden. I miss you,” Eve prays to the Almighty in Jill Eileen Smith’s novel, Daughter of Eden.
This three-hundred-and-thirty-six-page paperback targets those interested in Biblical fiction about the beginning of creation on earth with Adam and Eve. With no profanity, topics of illness, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note to the reader, acknowledgments, an excerpt of the author’s prior novel, her biography, and advertisements.
This story follows Adam and Eve when they are in the Garden of Eden and cast out, only to face the ongoing struggles to survive and reproduce on the earth. Covering several generations, it contains how the pair learns to accept loss, forgive others, and attempt to do things on their own as they regret their separation from God. It also includes Satan’s fall from Heaven, Cain's killing Abel and being sent away by God, and Enoch’s walk with God.
I have always enjoyed fictional books about the Bible, yet I have read only a few about the first five chapters of Genesis. I appreciate the tender details of Eve’s dealing with the guilt of her sin of disobedience, the understanding of obeying Adam, and the longing and seeking of the Redeemer. I liked that the author incorporated the evil watchers of men, Nephilim, and giants into the story.
Those who do not like reads that are based on Scripture will avoid this book. Some may disagree with the ample liberties taken that are not noticeably included in the Word such as Adam and Eve being “born” on the same day, Eve giving birth to over thirty children, and Enoch going into the Garden of Eden. I found the storyline got sidetracked a few times when it focused on other characters instead of Eve.
While it is clear that the author did plenty of research with the little information available, I felt she veered off-topic on a few questionable areas that may not have been needed. Adding discussion questions at the end would be thoughtful for book clubs.
If you like a story about Adam and Eve’s dealing with pride, guilt, and control in their new earthly environment, this is a good read, but be aware it is a fictional account.
Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
Ever wonder what happened to Adam and Eve after the Garden? This author has given us a possible look at what might have happened and has done a wonderful job capturing their story.
I loved every minute of this book, and I was able to imagine what life was like for the first people on earth. It must've been pretty lonely and definitely lots of hard work!
Smith's stories are always exciting; she puts our imagination into full gear. Biblical stories are my very favorite! I love the rest of the story, as they say. The Bible only gives us a glimpse, but it is the very best book. But it's fun to imagine the rest. I had fun reading about Adam and Eve.
My heart goes out to Abel, who didn't really deserve what he got. I was sad. Cain was spoiled and self-centered. I didn't like him.
I'm adding this to my list of favorites and keeper shelf with the rest of Jill's books! She's awesome and my favorite Biblical author! I very much didn't want this beautiful story of redemption to end. I was sad when it did. However, my heart was left feeling full and satisfied.
5 stars! I highly recommend it!
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Joy Hannabass
Jill Eileen Smith is one of the few Biblical Fiction authors I read because I know I will read a clear account of what Smith's exceptional creative mind tells of what could have been during those long ago first creation years when there was just Adam and Eve and their family.
I thoroughly enjoyed Eve's story and the early times when Eve didn't need to be ashamed of anything. Then sin came into the world, and it all changed. Smith does a phenomenal, very detailed telling of the sin and corruption taking place after Eve gave in to Satan. The corruption and division among the family were enough to torment Eve for causing it. I have always wondered about incest within Adam and Eve's family because, after all, they were all family. Jill didn't leave this out, and I'm still thinking about her take on it.
While reading, I think it's important to remember that this book is fiction. Adam and Eve's story is very real. Though the author weaves Bible verses and Biblical facts throughout the book, her deep research and study help her creative imagination in writing the fictional facts about the family living their everyday life. The Bible doesn't tell us much about that. We wouldn't be able to carry it. Even though it is fiction, I love reading Smith's Biblical fiction and reading what she thinks could have occurred all those years ago. And Daughter of Eden is no exception. This is a stunning story of the first couple, the first family on earth. I'm giving Jill Eileen Smith Five Stars for this amazing book. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, this one is a must.
A special thanks to Revell and Library Thing for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewer: Nikita Wells
Jill Eileen Smith is one of my go-to authors for clean biblical fiction books. So when I found out she was writing a book about Eve, I knew I had to read it!
The book was pretty great, and it was neat to imagine what Eden might have been like. Imagine playing with tame lions and bears, swimming with fish and dolphins or riding bareback on the dinosaurs! A whole different and innocent world than we know today.
The message of redemption, and our deep need for God was woven smoothly and neatly throughout this story.
Content warning/triggers for victims of abuse:
It was pretty chilling at one point with the mysterious giants or Nephilim attacking and abusing the descendants of Adam. It wasn't detailed, but was mentioned a few times. Eve and Adam also encountered the creatures.
Thank you to the author, the publisher Baker Books, and Netgalley for this complimentary e-book. A positive review was not required of me, and the thoughts above are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
It is challenging to write about the beginning of creation when Adam and Eve fell from God's grace and were cast out of the Garden of Eden. Whether or not you believe the story to be a factual account or merely an allegorical tale created to highlight good and evil, it is evident that the writers of the Old Testament believed the garden to be a real place as well as its occupants.
Jill Eileen Smith approaches the subject as a literal place in time and Adam & Eve as real people. She looks at the creation story from Eve's perspective, although we are also privy to Adam's thoughts. Smith has a creative imagination that allows the reader to experience the joy and beauty of the garden as well as the purity of walking unashamedly before God. To sit at his feet and commune with Him face to face was the primary joy of the Garden of Eden. But behind the scenes, something else was going on.
The author takes us on a journey of what-ifs and their outcomes. We are given a glimpse into heaven's throne room and the evil one's fall. From there, we can see Eve's confusion and trust in the serpent and why she ate from the forbidden tree in the garden's center. For much of Eve's life, she is tormented by the moment she disobeys God, and she longs to return to the garden and her relationship with Him. Something we all long for.
The author has done an excellent job of highlighting sin. If you believe humanity all descended from Adam and Eve, then you must accept the fact that the corruption of incest was prevalent in Adam & Eve's story. The author did not hide this fact, leaving me with a creepy-crawly feeling while I was reading it.
Much of the story deals with Adam's inability to forgive - first, Eve for leading him into sin and then Cain for killing Abel. While Eve (being a mother) eventually forgives Cain, and she still loves him, Adam struggles to even acknowledge him. It also deals with the day-to-day struggles they had to overcome - from finding shelter to learning how to create things like jars and instruments for plowing. So at times, the story lagged a bit. But, it also gives a very clear explanation as to why Cain's offering was rejected by God. Even though this is fiction, the author has brilliantly shown a very plausible explanation.
In the end, the author shows the consequences of sin and the risk everyone takes if they reject God. She also reveals that God loves us, understands our doubts and frailties, and longs for all to repent and return to Him. And that is one of the best lessons in this book. If you like Biblical fiction, you will enjoy Daughter of Eden.
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
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