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Extended Audio Sample Adam & Eve: A Novel, by Sena Jeter Naslund Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (659 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sena Jeter Naslund Narrator: Karen White Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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What happened to Eden?

The New York Times bestselling author of Ahab’s Wife, Four Spirits, and Abundance returns with an audacious and provocative novel that envisions a world where science and faith contend for the allegiance of a new Adam and Eve.

Her books have been hailed as “exceptional” (People), “enchanting” (Entertainment Weekly), “of great cultural and historical importance” (New York Times Book Review), and “original and affecting” (Los Angeles Times). One of the most imaginative and inspired writers of our time, Sena Jeter Naslund masterfully uses her craft to lay bare the poignant complexity of humanity—the passion and despair, the ignorance and frailty, the genius and resilience that define us. From Victorian London to civil rights–era Alabama, from nineteenth-century New England to revolutionary Paris, her novels offer profound insight and startling truths about human experience. Now, with Adam & Eve, she delivers her most ambitious and encompassing tale yet.

Hours before his untimely—and highly suspicious—death, world-renowned astrophysicist Thom Bergmann shares his discovery of extraterrestrial life with his wife, Lucy. Feeling that the warring world is not ready to learn of—or accept—proof of life elsewhere in the universe, Thom entrusts Lucy with his computer flash drive, which holds the keys to his secret work.

Devastated by Thom’s death, Lucy keeps the secret, but Thom’s friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad, contacts Lucy with an unusual and dangerous request about another sensitive matter. Pierre needs Lucy to help him smuggle a newly discovered artifact out of Egypt: an ancient codex concerning the human authorship of the Book of Genesis. Offering a reinterpretation of the creation story, the document is sure to threaten the foundation of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions—and there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress it.

Midway through the daring journey, Lucy’s small plane goes down on a slip of verdant land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East. Burned in the crash landing, she is rescued by Adam, a delusional American soldier whose search for both spiritual and carnal knowledge has led to madness. Blessed with youth, beauty, and an unsettling innocence, Adam gently tends to Lucy’s wounds, and in this quiet, solitary paradise, a bond between the unlikely pair grows. Ultimately, Lucy and Adam forsake their half-mythical Eden and make their way back toward civilization, where members of an ultraconservative religious cult are determined to deprive the world of the knowledge Lucy carries.

Set against the searing debate between evolutionists and creationists, Adam & Eve expands the definition of a “sacred book” and suggests that true madness lies in wars and violence fueled by all religious literalism and intolerance. A thriller, a romance, an adventure, and an idyll, Adam & Eve is a tour de force by a master contemporary storyteller.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Surprisingly affecting.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] blend of futuristic thriller, pseudoreligious speculation, and idyllic romance.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Naslund] shed[s] light on what the creation myth (and religious fanaticism) reveals about the human condition: that however formative our beginnings may be, they can always give way to the drama of rebirth. In Adam & Eve, Naslund asks, which is really more important to us?”


  • “A richly detailed portrait of an opulent, turbulent time, revealing the Queen’s journey from frivolity to responsibility, and from palace to prison cell to be one of striking beauty and terrible loss.”


  • Selected for the October 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nicole | 2/15/2014

    " I thought this book was really intriguing. It is a bit hard to follow initially but the story line takes off around page 100 and it is smooth reading from then on out. I can definitely see the parallels between this book and The Davinci Code. The writing styles seemed similar as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Liz | 2/4/2014

    " Disappointed. I really enjoyed Ahab's Wife....and had high expectations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tracy | 2/4/2014

    " I got so absorbed in this story. Naslund paints a vivid picture with her words. There are some shocking plot twists (or so I thought). To me, this book is ultimately about human nature which is immutable and the struggle between knowledge and willful ignorance. I didn't like how the story of Adam ended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Julie | 1/27/2014

    " This is the third book I have read by this author, and one of the first things I thought of while reading it was, "How does she come up with these stories?" I don't mean that in a what-the-heck-is-she-thinking way, but in a where-do-her-creativity-and-imagination-come-from way. All three books have been vastly different. So many authors tend to stick to what works for them (Dan Brown comes to mind), so that their books seem formulaic and like fraternal, if not identical, twins. Sena Jeter Naslund does not fall in this camp. (I must admit, though, that at one point early in this book I did feel like I was reading a Dan Brown book. Thankfully, that feeling passed rather quickly.)Unfortunately, I'm writing this review over a week after I finished the book and, more importantly, more than a week into another book I'm reading. These facts, coupled with my stress-addled memory, mean that all I am left with are impressions of this book rather than detail. Impressions will have to suffice, though I would prefer to be more thorough. That being said, I do recall the language of this book having a richness and depth that reminded me of Ahab's Wife. There were several sentences after which I just had to pause to fully appreciate them. Also, I found myself really identifying with the main character, Lucy, in many ways. She is about my age, and we seemed to have many of the same thoughts about life, human nature, purpose, religion, etc. So, I guess the book was timely for me. I doubt I would have liked the book as much as I did had I read it at age 25.Nonetheless, I can't say I loved the book. There was still something missing, though I can't say what. Maybe if I had time to write the review when I finished the book I would remember what it was! Overall, I'd give it 3-and-a-half stars. "

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