"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

25 September 2016

2016 Book Review #58: Noah's Wife

This book caught my eye because of the title AND the artwork. I happened to spy it on the town library "new books" shelf and asked myself if it could possibly be about the Biblical Noah's wife.

Yes. In an allegorical kind of way.

This is a modern look,( although based on the descriptions in the story and the lack of mention of cell phones, computers, other modern technology, it could be set anytime after the early 20th century but before the 21st.  That part was a little confusing) of the Biblical account of the Flood/Noah, told as an allegory.  Some reviews call it a fable but it is more along the lines of an allegory.

It is a brilliant piece of literary work.


There is a little town nestled along a river in the hills. It has been raining for days.  Then weeks, months, and years.

 We do not know if this is America or Europe. The setting is vague on specifics other than the marvelous description of never-ending rain and gloominess.

Noah, a minister in a large city, feels the call to pastor the little town's church, whose own minister was found dead in the river.  Speculation abounds as to whether this was an accident or suicide.  Noah's wife has a desire to help her husband revive the congregation who have all given up on this church.

She soon realizes that their efforts are being thwarted by various town-folk.  There is the Italian storekeeper, an aggressive town matriarch who is also the mayor, and a zookeeper who is engaged to the matriarch's daughter.  The matriarch is known as Mrs. MsGinn and her husband (her 4th!) is named Jackson.  The storekeeper is Mauro.  The daughter is known as "Mrs McGinn's daughter" but her given name is Angela Rose.  (it is very odd to me that the author chose to not name her characters right away in the book...I'm sure there is a reason for it but I just couldn't pinpoint what that could mean).

Noah's wife is known as Dr. Yu's (the daughter of an eccentric man who dabbles in magic tricks and has been recently widowed) best friend.  Dr. Yu and her father both live in the city.  Dr. Yu cannot understand why Noah and his wife want to move away to this little town.

The townspeople begin to realize that the rain is not going to stop any time soon.  This is further explained by a visiting weatherman whom no one takes very seriously.  The water begins to swallow up the homes, stores, and the zoo.  The people of the town are forced to take in the various animals that are left in the zoo.  All of them grumble about this, but what choice do they have?
Soon, the flood waters even swallow up the only highway leading out of town and through the hills.  Noah, his wife, and all the townsfolk must soon confront not just the wild forces of nature, but their own ties that bind them to one another....they need to do this before their entire world is washed away.

Who will help them??  Will they ever be rescued??


Well, this was definitely different from most books I gravitate towards.

I liked it from a literary sense because it is deep (no pun intended!) and the characters are so well described. There is some humor in this book and it's a bit poignant.  But.....it is also just a bit odd.  The ending is one that promises hope yet is still gloomy.  You need to read it to understand what I'm trying to say.

It seems to be themed around the spirit of community and it looks at the human spirit when it is tested.....and it seems to be trying to answer the question of "is hope able to exist when all faith is gone?"

This book also, I think, is supposed to be a bit of a "feminist" type story...the leading characters are the women NOT Noah.

This was the author's first novel so I'm hoping she continues to write.  From a pure literary sense, this is very well written.  The story itself draws you in, but has an overall feeling of hopelessness........until the end........

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, I give it an 8 for the storyline, but a 10 for the actual creative writing.  


Susanne said...

Sounds intriguing.

baili said...

since few years i also like and prefer books that have little touch of humor in them ,book sounds promising

Deb said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the review. Hope all is going well with you!