First Family

Award announcement Readers Favorite

  • Listen to Alice’s July 10, 2017 interview on the podcast “Too Jewish” with Rabbi Sam Cohon here.
  • Listen to a recording of Alice’s interview on Jewish Community Radio in Cleveland on 88.7 FM with Fred Taub, Friday, October 30, 2015, here.
  • Find Amazon reviews of First Family here.
  • Readers’ Favorite reviewed First Family

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

First Family by Alice Langholt is a thought provoking look at the events as they might have happened between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. If you have ever wondered why God banished Adam and Eve, how the snake had such influence as to make Eve eat the fruit, what were Cain and Abel really like, and why did one brother kill another then you MUST read this book.

Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel were given personalities that seemed logical and real. As they learned to live outside of Eden, they had no choice but to figure out how to stay warm, how to find food, how to love each other, and how to survive. Their personalities, quirks, ideas, and feelings made them real and believable under the circumstances they were forced into. Adam truly loved Eve and tried to take care of her as best as he knew how. Eve was a good wife and loved her two boys with all of her heart. Cain was an angry young man who was jealous of his sweet and kind brother Abel. God was always present and watching over them, but sometimes it was hard for Him to leave them alone to deal with their own free will decisions.

I really enjoyed First Family and will think of Adam and Eve as real life people with personalities forevermore. I can only hope that Alice Langholt will write a book for each of the people in the Bible, bringing them to life in a perfect scenario without changing or modernizing the story. First Family should be read by everyone – believers as well as non-believers – because it is that good. First Family and Alice Langholt have quickly and easily jumped to the top of my favorite book list. I believe it will to yours too.

Rating: Five stars

Amazon reviewer says:

Review: “First Family brings the creation story to life. Langholt skillfully puts words and emotions to the creation text bringing life and depth to the beginning of life and the early journey of mankind. It introduces the wonder of discovery and the fall of man through sin. She vividly describes the inner conversations between Man and the Voice.

She describes the stark contract of how male and female were designed to go together, to belong to each other, yet the complexity of them not being identical. The struggles they encounter after leaving the safety of the garden mirror today’s struggles. The fear, the uncertainty of facing new situations is no different today than it was with the very first family.

She takes on the observer in the story and narrates the inner struggles of each character from his or her own perspective. Each character plays a vital role in the way the story unfolds.

The creation story is one of my favorite stories in scripture, Langholt accurately depicts this age old story with a newness of wonder and discovery. I felt as if I was in the garden when man first communes with the Voice and hears the voice from within himself. Seeds of faith are planted and sown through the conversations they continue to have with each other as they strive to feel the completeness that only the Voice can provide in our lives.

Gripping and perceptive in her understanding of faith and relational dynamics.”

Rating: 5 stars

  • Book review Blogger Teresa Kander posted her review at this link. Here’s what she said:

Review: This is a very unique look at the story of Adam, Eve and their family. It gives the reader at look at the humanity of people we don’t really learn much about in the Bible. The story made me laugh, brought me to tears, and is one that I will go back to read over and over again.

The author writes amazing prose. So many of the passages draw me back to them, just to enjoy the descriptive language used. There isn’t a lot of dialog, but that is because much of the story takes place in the heads of the characters, giving us a true look at things from their perspectives.

I’ve never read anything quite like this book, and I hope the author will give us more in the future.

Rating: Five stars

  • Blogger Jewish Joy Reading posted her review at this link. Here’s what she said:

First Family, From Gan Eden and on

If you want to get a peek into how life was at the beginning, First Family is the book for you. It is a smooth read which takes the reader through the complex issues of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel.

Judging the Book by its Cover –  a first glance review:

The cover correctly doesn’t show the faces of the original family, rather it has their silhouettes. I believe that there are midrashim that say that they were much taller and even the children were born the size of adults. But the concept is clear regardless. It shows the first parents and their first children alone amidst nature.

Some Details I Liked:

The author, Alice Langholt, has a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies and was able to keep the story line true to the text. 

The way the characters “express themselves” is so clear that when Eve tells Adam that she has life inside her, I literally had tears of joy in my eyes for the continuation of humanity.

Who This Book is For:This book is great for those that want to feel more connected to the Biblical characters. First Family is written in first voice, switching between all the players, including GOD. It is done well, with respect to each one.

Who This Book Isn’t For:  

There are some parts of the book that hint to things, in what I felt was refined, but should still be mentioned before recommending the book. For instance, Eve experiences monthly bleeding or how she expresses that the baby comes out from the same place.
The killing of Abel is described in somewhat gory details. Again, I enjoyed the dramatic way it is written, but wouldn’t recommend it to someone who would be bothered by that.

What I Didn’t Like/Would Have Made it Better: 

I would have enjoyed getting the Garden of Eden’s or the earth’s perspective as well.

In Conclusion:  

The book is typeset nicely and easy to read, ending at just the right part, making it a nice read for this time of year or anytime. I think a lot of people would benefit from more books like this one.

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