Riverhead. Apr. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780525536338. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780525536352. F
DEBUT The heavy rains have ended, and Noah and his family are waiting for the water to recede in order to make a new home. In elegant verse, Naamah, Noah's wife and the mother of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, describes the tedious work, anxiety, and fear, as well as the love and happiness of her life caring for the animals on the Ark and her family. In her spare time, Naamah enjoys swimming, and during one of her swims she meets an underwater angelic presence that she grows to love. Naamah has intimate relations with this angel many times and details explicitly her enjoyment of being female. Our heroine has the endurance and perseverance to battle her desires to save myriad species of the world and often questions her faith in the God capable of punishing the earth so cruelly. Wild, fantastical dreams inhabit Naamah's mind as she sleeps, and mystical, surreal events also inhabit her wakeful world.
VERDICT Ingenious and highly imaginative, this debut novel is sure to spark conversation and could also provoke controversy.
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