Title : Noah’s Wife
Publisher: Blackburn Fork
Genre : Historical Fiction
Her Savta calls her a special child and she indeed turns out to be very special. Her travails and travels are interesting enough to keep one enticed. The story of genesis - Noah’s Ark and the disastrous flood - forms the background of this tale. The author T.K Thorne has relied on weaving her plot around the ancient tale but has researched through the scientific studies which support the theory that a great flood did occur near the shores of the now brackish Black Sea. This novel is no real account but a very logical and convincing version of the story of the great boat and the animals being kept on it.
What makes it different and refreshing is that it is told from the perspective of Na’amah, Noah’s wife who doesn’t even find her name mentioned in the Biblical version. It is written in first person narrative and the heroine herself weaves a beautiful tale, though she misses the nuances that a ‘normal ’person won’t, making it a tale from a different perspective. She tells us her life story and experiences which lead up to the flood.
“My name, Na’amah, means pleasant or beautiful”, She says and she is indeed beautiful. She suffers from what is now known as Aspergers Syndrome, a spectrum form of Autism. All she wants is to be a shepherdess as she loves her sheep and understands them better than humans. Humans make her uncomfortable because she is unable to understand their complex behaviour.
“I speak only truth, unwise as it may be, since lies distress me…my words and manner seem odd to other people. I am more comfortable with animals, who do not expect me to be any way than the way I am”. The character is very believably drawn, making it real and remarkable for a mythological persona
The story showcases the religious norms and beliefs of the time credibly but a bit too simply for example the father God and Mother Goddess theory is almost one-dimensional. The cultural and social milieu of the prehistoric time in the ancient Turkey has been successfully recreated. It’s enchanting and very absorbing. What is heart warming is Na’mah’s questioning of the religious beliefs and refusal to believe in miracles without a logical reasoning, yet keeping her faith alive.
It’s a tale ridden with strong sexual undercurrents. Her brother Tubal-Cain is savage with his treatment of her and she is perplexed due to his incessant hatred of her. Yanner, her childhood friend and mate also behaves inexplicably. She is forced to make choices and she does that wisely. She faces her circumstances strongly and confidently and emerges a winner. Noah comes across as a noble, understanding and loving husband.
A great enthralling read which had to be read at one go. It has all the ingredients of a best-seller like drama, intrigue, adventure and romance. An extremely well written, tightly woven tale which moves at a fast pace and keeps one hooked.