If you are the kind of person who reads an ending to a book before you start it, you may, on the occasion of reading ‘The Gospel of Eve’, find it hard to forgive yourself. Rachel Mann’s first outing into the world of fiction Novels does not fail to impress, or surprise, or for that matter appal.
Those seeking nostalgia, perhaps hoping to reminisce of times past in Theological college or boarding schools alike, will not be disappointed. Although, this exhilarating Novel offers far more in the way of ‘Flesh’.
A prospective reader may find themselves scrambling for a computer or smartphone, from time to time, as they attempt to understand some of the more tantalising intellectual curiosities. This only adds to its appeal. The story builds, it reveals, it shocks (from the outset), and it never fails to hold one’s attention.
Some may consider this an ideal retreat or holiday book, this reviewer does not, as it will likely be read in two or three sittings. Its content will hold a reader’s attention easily. It may even occupy a few nightmares.
There are some sensitive subjects revealed in the book, its title gives a little of that away. The characters are rich, flawed and uniquely likeable, even the ones we must not like. In many ways the story represents a flawed humanity, urging itself to grow and failing due to inherent prejudice or sins, perhaps present from the dawn of time. Perhaps the title gives more away than it first seems.
Sexuality and indeed the trappings of patriarchy and orthodoxy are handled with sensitivity and aplomb. At no time did this reviewer feel the object of a lecture. Rather, one felt invited to tag along and be part of the story as it unfolded. At times, I confess, there were moments one felt part of the problem. Conceivably, this too is given away by the title.
This Novel is a thoroughly good read. At times, it is not at all comfortable, but none the less alluring. More please.
Stephen Nolan is the IC Regional Ambassador for Bolton.