FAQs – Character Portrayals of Eve, Adam, and Their Children
Each morning puts a man on trial and each evening passes judgment. --Roy L. Smith

Ooh, yuck.  You have the whole incest thing going between Naava and Cain.  Why is that?

If you believe that Adam and Eve were the first people on earth, then who else are their children going to have sex with?  Certainly not Eve and Adam.  True?

If you don’t believe that Adam and Eve were the first people on earth, then you have to remember that the novel is a work of fiction, and if Adam and Eve’s family did not yet know about other people, they would be interested in each other.

Who was your role model for Eve?  And do you feel you portrayed her too modernly?

I have every woman I’ve ever met to thank for Eve.  Indeed, she’s a compilation of the life stories and common themes I’ve heard over and over again–from friends, from relatives, from strangers.

I consulted numerous books on how Eve is seen in various cultures and how she has been portrayed in history and literature, for I wanted an Eve who seemed achingly real.  Someone whom I could identify with.  Someone whom I was rooting for.  I relied on Mishael M. Caspi’s Eve in Three Traditions and Literatures: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (in collaboration with Mohammad Jiyad) and Pamela Norris’s Eve: A Biography and Carol Meyers’ Discovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context.  But mostly, it’s as I stated above.  Eve comes from my heart and from the experiences of my women friends.  After all, if she is human, then she has felt everything we feel.  Emotions are the same in any century.

How did you come up with your characters?  Eve’s daughters are not mentioned in the Bible or in the Torah.

Right you are!  As you already know, the skeleton of the Adam and Eve story is there in Genesis.  I have had to bulk it up with muscle and fat.  Fictional muscle and fat.  Eve’s daughters have emerged from my mind, as has the reason why Elohim rejected Cain’s offering.  [To answer the question of why Adam and Eve had to have girls, see the answer to the incest question that begins this section of questions.]  I have had to concoct a solution to the puzzle of why Elohim would reward one child and not the other, when they both were being dutiful in their offerings—externally, anyway.  Doesn’t every parent know they cannot favor one child over the other?!  I used Rabbi David Fohrman’s The Beast That Crouches at the Door: Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel, and Beyond to sort out, in my mind, why Cain would kill Abel and what would lead him to do such a thing.

Isn’t Dara too young to watch other children?  At the beginning of the novel she speaks in a younger voice than at the end.  Why is that?

I think in today’s world, certainly, Dara might have been considered too young, but there are numerous accounts of children much younger than Dara taking on huge adult-like responsibilities.  Child labor, anyone?

She grows up over the summer.  She still has some questions–don’t we all?–but she’s learned some things being in the city, and this affects her demeanor and voice.

I like Dara’s sweet response to Aya’s insistence that Dara learn to talk to Elohim.  Where did you come up with that idea?

For “Maybe Elohim is wild, like the hedgehog,” Dara says.  “You can’t count on Him,” I have Philip Yancey to thank.  In his book, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, he tells of a fox den behind his house and how, when he has visitors, he takes them to the fox den, hoping for an appearance of their litter of kits.  Yancey warns his guests in advance, “They are wild animals, you know….We’re not in charge.  It’s up to them whether they make an appearance or not.”  After a particularly exciting viewing, one of Yancey’s guests who had been going through a difficult time, wrote him a letter saying, “He is wild, you know….We’re not in charge.”  My sentiments, exactly.