By Lindsay Starck
Rating: 4/5 Stairs
Noah’s Wife is a modern retelling of the biblical tale of Noah. But I say that a little loosely. In this story, we do not see God flooding the world, nor Noah building an ark to save the animals. I did not feel like it was beating religion over your head either. Instead, it is a story of faith.
There is a small, isolated town up in the hills where it has been raining. And raining. And raining. For years. For so long that it has become difficult for the townspeople to remember what it was like before the rain. Some have already packed up and moved on. But the people still left in the town are rooted and not going anywhere.
Thus staying becomes the quality that singles them out. Staying becomes the symbol of their strength, their response to clouds hanging heavy and low, than mantra that they mutter when they find their outlook to be especially gray. Sometimes, on the days when they believe they cannot bear it any longer, the rain seems to let up – but the clouds never scatter, and a day or two later it has begun to fall again in earnest.
Noah is a minister, and he is struggling with his faith. When he gets assigned to the town, he knows he can help these people, and help them restore their faith in God. And restore his faith in himself. But the longer Noah is in the endless rain, the more his faith wavers – along with the townspeople, who gave up on God long ago.
“It is good to believe about your God. It is a beautiful dream, and it helps some people, it gives them strength in heart. but it is harder to believe about your God when we are asking and asking and asking for help and it is turning out that no one is listening to us. Then we are thinking: What is the bother? Maybe there is no God up there, or maybe He is there, and He is hearing us, but He doesn’t care.”
And then there is Noah’s wife. She moves to the town knowing that her primary focus on life is her husband and helping him in any way she can. Her husband and his work is her life.
[Noah’s wife] liked to bring out the best in people, and it was true – she had a knack for it. She learned to look for it in everyone she came across.
What did I like?
The writing was fantastic, I highlighted great quotes throughout the novel. Seriously, when I went to write this post I had about ten more quotes I wanted to squeeze in. Every page seemed to have something beautiful on it.
The book is filled with interesting characters, both in and out of the town. The narrative takes us back and forth from the town to the larger city nearby. I wondered how (or even if!) Ms. Starck would tie everyone together, and she pulls it off nicely.
Yes…the ending left me wanting more. I was ready to keep reading. I had a lot of questions after I turned that final page. You know I try to keep things spoiler free here at Hidden Staircase, so I will just settle with the generic question that covers it all: What happened next?
Overall, I recommend reading Noah’s Wife. It was just one of those books where the writing was so lovely that I loved picking it up and reading it each day.
I should point out here I had so many quotes (five) that I decided to try displaying them in the WordPress slide show feature. Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below.
Many thanks to First to Read for loaning me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.