||Noah's wife begins his story, revealing that her ancient husband (there's a 500-year age difference) is distant, domineering, and downright unpleasant. When he gets the call from God to build an ark and save humanity from the coming flood, the family reacts in a variety of ways, and the narrative bounces back and forth between them. It's his sons, of course, who have to do the work of shipbuilding, and it's his disgruntled daughters-in-law who have to track down all the animal species and herd them into the ark. Then there's the ordeal of living in close quarters with the animals, all of whom have to be fed and cared for. His long-suffering family reluctantly has to admit that Noah was right--not crazy--but the experience takes its toll on them all as they try to please both Noah and God. David Maine reimagines the familiar Biblical tale from a modern perspective, humanizing all the participants and making the story vivid and new.
||"Noe says, -I must build a boat.-A boat, she says.-A ship, more like. I'll need the boys to help, he adds as an afterthought.-We're leagues from the sea, she says, or any river big enough to warrant a boat.This conversation is making Noe impatient. -I've no need to explain myself to you.-And when you're done, she says carefully, we'll be taking this ship to the sea somehow?As usual, Noe's impatience fades quickly. -We'll not be going to the sea. The sea will be coming to us."In this brilliant debut novel, Noah's family (or Noe as he's called here)-his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law-tell what it's like to live with a man touched by God, while struggling against events that cannot be controlled or explained. When Noe orders his sons to build an ark, he can't tell them where the wood will come from. When he sends his daughters-in-law out to gather animals, he can offer no directions, money, or protection. And once the rain starts, they all realize that the true test of their faith is just beginning. Because the family is trapped on the ark with thousands of animals-with no experience feeding or caring for them, and no idea of when the waters will recede. What emerges is a family caught in the midst of an extraordinary Biblical event, with all the tension, humanity-even humor-that implies.