Book cover for Fallen by David MaineFallen by David Maine is a vivid retelling of the old, familiar stories of Adam & Eve and Cain & Abel. Beginning with the final days of Cain and moving back in time to Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden, this book portrays the dusty old Bible stories in a brand new light. Breathing life into these well-known characters in a way no Bible story ever could, Maine portrays the lives of people who are at once familiar and strangely abstract, reminding us that even legends were once living, breathing people with all the complexities, emotions, motives and insecurities that make us human.

The names in this book are all well-known to us – Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, God – but their personalities are far more fleshed out and sympathetic than those portrayed in Genesis, and I was left with many more questions than I began with. Was Adam and Eve’s crime truly so great as to deserve permanent banishment? How long should a man be punished for the sins of his youth? And just how just is the Christian God really?

From the small barbs carried by our words and deeds on a daily basis to the dreadful atrocities born of hatred, we all have the potential to commit terrible acts. We find the stories of Cain’s terrible crimes and Adam & Eve’s disgrace captivating precisely because we see not some abstract characters invented to keep us in line, but ourselves, our friends, our enemies, our own petty rivalries.

Under Maine’s skillful hand, we are forced to sympathize with Cain despite ourselves, to question whether Abel was really as perfect as we have been led to believe and to wonder if what Adam and Eve did was really so wrong, after all.

I am not a religious person, nor am I Christian, but that did not prevent me from enjoying this novel. Whether you are Christian or not, this is an extremely well-written and entertaining read that you will be unable to put down and I recommend it to people of all ages, religions and walks-of-life.

Categories: Impressions

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1 reply


  1. Psychoanalysis of Cain | A Thousand Lives

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