The first book in this series, The Wanderer Scorned, expands on what the life of Cain may have been like, immediately post the Fall, written from his point of view. With Biblical fiction I often like to read the story in the Bible first, to help me place the narrative and ensure my own Biblical certainty of what is said. Looking at the story of Cain and Abel, in Genesis 4, it really is very brief – about two thirds of a chapter. There is the bare bones of a story, with little or no detail … perfect material for a series of novels to expand our understanding!
It is quite astute of Natasha to highlight that Cain, and the entire family of Adam and Eve, would have had many years of life to write about (and they lived for a very long time back then!). There would have been many stories, he would have toiled, loved and lost as all people do. He would have had reasons for his actions. There is a whole life lived, to be expanded on.
Built around the clues that are to be found in Genesis 4, these books are an opportunity to learn more about the nature and intentions of God through the storytelling. Plus there is plenty of opportunity to apply the theology to our own thinking, behaviours and relationships.
The second book in the series, The Wanderer Reborn, changes the point of view to that of Awan, Cain’s wife, which from a literary perspective works so well in bringing the reader closer to the characters and keeps the reader’s interest. It allows us to read the next part of the story, learning the depths of a different character but continuing the engaging tale.
Reading both books, (and I read them back-to-back, which was a real joy) I found myself so grateful that I live in an age post-Jesus, knowing that I tend to repeat many of the thought patterns and feelings of Cain and Awan. I fear that I may not have fared so well without the covering of Jesus.
Reading the trials experienced by the first family, even so immediately after the Fall, you realise how far and how fast we have fallen from God’s perfect plan. The separation, pain, toil and sin that entered the world at the Fall is so far from the intentions of God. In the books the complications of relationships are discovered and worked through, between the characters but also learning their new relationship with God.
This is a relationship that we were not designed for. That is why it is hard work. It sits outside of His original plan and so we need to face the challenge of learning our way into it … discovering a relationship that has disfunction creeping in, that spoils the designed perfection. The stories show a process of spiritual awakening, to the things of God but also to the things that deceive them.
As well as this theme of learning to relate to the Creator in a new way, another theme of the books is how we develop our relationship with His creation, including our instruction to care for it. To nurture and steward the works of His hands, as our own.
These books are well researched, intelligently and sensitively written. They encompass a story of redemption and rebirth that will speak to everyone. No one is beyond the reach of God, a reminder that the depths if His love and forgiveness are boundless.
Thanks to the author for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.