Naamah

Naamah

A wildly imaginative novel of the reluctant heroine who rescued life on earth. With the coming of the Great Flood—the mother of all disasters—only one family was spared, drifting on an endless sea, waiting for the waters to subside. We know the story of Noah, moved by divine vision to launch their escape. Now, in a work of astounding invention, acclaimed writer Sarah Blak...

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Title:Naamah
Author:Sarah Blake
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Edition Language:English

Naamah Reviews

  • Megan Collins

    Simply put, this novel is gorgeous. The writing casts such a spell that 50 pages would go by in the span of what felt like it could be no more than 10. Sarah Blake's poetry background is clearly evident in this book, with writing that feels like the very best that prose poems have to offer. But for all its lyricism, this book is not a poem; it is a fiercely narrated story about Noah's wife, Naamah, who's struggling with timeless questions of faith, purpose, and what it means to be a woman. At ti

    Simply put, this novel is gorgeous. The writing casts such a spell that 50 pages would go by in the span of what felt like it could be no more than 10. Sarah Blake's poetry background is clearly evident in this book, with writing that feels like the very best that prose poems have to offer. But for all its lyricism, this book is not a poem; it is a fiercely narrated story about Noah's wife, Naamah, who's struggling with timeless questions of faith, purpose, and what it means to be a woman. At times lushly surreal, at others hyper-realistic and modern (even in its ancient setting), this novel will captivate you from start to finish.

  • Cathy Day

    This novel is so magically inventive and incantatory. I can’t wait for the world to read and experience NAAMAH. Because the plot of the story (the flood, etc) is a given, Blake devises some ingenious ways to create suspense, to keep us asking “What’s going to happen?” I was so surprised/delighted by the questions that kept me reading, not to mention (of course) the language.

  • Leslie Lindsay

    I can't stop thinking about it. NAAMAH (Riverhead, April 9th) is a stunning foray into one of the oldest and most well-known Bible stories--that of

    but this telling is from the

    In the Bible, she is unnamed, but in Sa

    I can't stop thinking about it. NAAMAH (Riverhead, April 9th) is a stunning foray into one of the oldest and most well-known Bible stories--that of

    but this telling is from the

    In the Bible, she is unnamed, but in Sarah Blake's hands, she is truly actualized. She's a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a lover, a caretaker, and she has worries--

    Sarah Blake's background as a poet is evident. Her prose is

    In many ways, reading this story is like being dropped into a

    , everything is a little surreal, a little dreamy (and there are plenty of actual dream sequences)...there's a lucidity here that will absolutely captivate and enthrall. NAMMAH is literary fiction at its best--

    [Fair warning: if you're looking for a clean, wholesome Christian look at this story, you might want to stick to another telling. There are some erotic scenes and some troubling imagery].

    Although this is an ancient story, I found the

    , a tough feat for someone working with such an old story, which could get bogged down in dreary language.

    I found the writing and content similar to the work of Margaret Atwood (maybe most like

    or

    ) meets Laurie L. Patton's collection of poetry in

    (Anita Diamant)--but in all honesty, I don't think I've read anything quite like

    Special thanks to Riverhead Books for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.

  • Kara Leann

    This book was so unique and imaginative. I loved Sarah Blake's take on what Naamah would be going through and struggling with in the aftermath of the flood. Her writing is so beautiful and compelling that I was immediately immersed in the story. Absolutely loved this and recommend it to everyone!

    Thank you to Riverhead Books for providing a free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

  • Annarella

    I would describe this book as an amazing technicolor dream about the woman who save the Earth during the Great Flood.

    It's poetic, imaginative and enthralling. A book you cannot put down once you're involved.

    Highly recommended!

    Many thanks to Riverhead Books and Edelweiss for this ARC

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Naamah is the wife of Noah, and I read this thinking it would be similar to

    or even

    , novels that bring a formerly silent female character to life.

    That's not what this novel is. Everyone is on the ark but Naamah lives very much in her mind, in the memories of a lover left behind, in the dreams or hallucinations of an angel who has built a home for all the dead children under the water, and in some visions with a talking bird named Jael and a vulture nam

    Naamah is the wife of Noah, and I read this thinking it would be similar to

    or even

    , novels that bring a formerly silent female character to life.

    That's not what this novel is. Everyone is on the ark but Naamah lives very much in her mind, in the memories of a lover left behind, in the dreams or hallucinations of an angel who has built a home for all the dead children under the water, and in some visions with a talking bird named Jael and a vulture named Megatron. She also interacts with one of her future descendants and even a 21st century family, something about time traveling women?

    There is a lot of explicit sex and while sex is no problem for me as a reader, it felt like the author was most invested in these sections, and I wish the writing felt as intense throughout the book. I would have loved to read a novel about what it is like to be the matriarch of the rebirth of the world, while confronting the remnants of their former society - there are only tiny hints of that here. Since so much of what Naamah seems to be experiencing is not "real," in the sense that none of the others on the ark are having these experiences, it becomes this dreamscape of isolation and grief. Maybe the author intended that - as long as you know what to expect going in.

  • Jenna

    If you live in a Western country, you've no doubt heard the story of Noah's Ark. Did you ever wonder about Noah's wife? What was she like? After all, we are told nothing about her. The authors of the Bible rarely deemed it necessary to tell us a woman's name, let alone any of the other details of her life. I guess it was enough for Mrs. Noah that she was mentioned at all, nameless as she was... what greater honour could be bestowed upon her than to say she was married to the one man God thought

    If you live in a Western country, you've no doubt heard the story of Noah's Ark. Did you ever wonder about Noah's wife? What was she like? After all, we are told nothing about her. The authors of the Bible rarely deemed it necessary to tell us a woman's name, let alone any of the other details of her life. I guess it was enough for Mrs. Noah that she was mentioned at all, nameless as she was... what greater honour could be bestowed upon her than to say she was married to the one man God thought good enough to not destroy? A name, why would she need a name? She's Noah's

    , for christ's sake -- nothing about her could be more important than that! What the

    , Bible authors? This is the woman who (if the Bible was actual history, which it's not) was the progenitor of the human race. She is the mother of all humans who came after and she doesn't deserve to have her own

    ?

    The 11th-century Jewish commentator Rashi decided Mrs. Noah's Wife deserved a name of her own and called her "Naamah". Sarah Blake decided to expand on that and imagine what Naamah would have thought and felt as her world came to an end, as she was forced to watch her friends die and to clean up after and feed a world's worth of animal species. What was going through her head as the rains fell, covering the entire Earth (if the Bible is to be believed, which it's not) and she was stuck in a stinky boat shovelling tiger and lion and bear shit for 14 months? This book is Naamah's story.

    It is lyrical and imaginative and I absolutely love the writing. 5 stars for the quality and allure; it felt like reading a song. However, the story jumped around far too much, making the story hard to follow and stay with. Naamah is on the ark feeding and caring for animals she is unable to see (I never really did understand what that is about). Naamah is remembering a previous lover, Bethel, who died in the Flood. Naamah is swimming under the water, playing with dead children and making love to an angel. Naamah is conversing with God, in the form of a bird. I don't know, it just didn't flow. And a story about a deluge that covered the face of the earth, a story with that much water? It should

    .

    I appreciate that Ms. Blake chose to tell us Naamah's story and I'm glad I read the book; I just wish it wouldn't have jumped back and forth so much. If you enjoy story re-tellings, then you should add this to your list. It's long past time that Naamah had her story told, fictional as it is.... but so is the rest of the Noah's Ark story, so who cares? It's a story worth telling, of a woman who deserves to be known for more than simply being married to Noah.

    3 1/2 stars

    (Note: There is sex in this book. There is lesbian sex in this book. If that offends you, either don't read the book or do like I did for the hetero sex between Naamah and Noah and just skip over it. Sex is not the main focus of the book, but of

    there'd be sex going on.... 14 months stuck on a boat with no internet, no books, no tv, not much else in the way of diversion, not even an horizon to look at and you might be looking to entertain yourself with some non-vanilla sex too.)

  • Abbie | ab_reads

    An interesting and unique (and steamy!) take on the story of Noah’s Ark, but I was a bit confused at times... Full review to follow!

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    Unfortunately, most of this book made no sense. This book presents the perspective of Noah’s wife, Naamah, during the last months on the ark. Naamah has crazy dreams, a surprising amount of sex considering there are only 7 other people still alive in the whole world, and, for some reason, can’t see any of the animals onboard. There are some feminist themes-vaguely. There is some questioning of religious principles-vaguely. Mostly, it’s just crazy dream sequences.

  • Theresa

    1 star --- and honestly it did not even deserve that!!

    I'm prepared that this review will make others mad. I'm not trying to be controversial. I'm not trying to change opinions. I'm stating

    honest opinion and my beliefs will not waiver.

    This book was ridiculous and horrible. I could not make myself even read more than a couple of chapters. I did skim the rest hoping...well, let's be honest I don't even know what I was hoping. It simply was bad all the way through. The writing was clumsy and

    1 star --- and honestly it did not even deserve that!!

    I'm prepared that this review will make others mad. I'm not trying to be controversial. I'm not trying to change opinions. I'm stating

    honest opinion and my beliefs will not waiver.

    This book was ridiculous and horrible. I could not make myself even read more than a couple of chapters. I did skim the rest hoping...well, let's be honest I don't even know what I was hoping. It simply was bad all the way through. The writing was clumsy and stilted and if that were the only issue I would not be so adamant in the belief this blasphemy should not have been published.

    I know this is an advanced copy and quotes might change but I have to support my cause and the easiest way is to quote the words directly from the author.

    This quoted section is talking about Naamah as she is thinking about the rain and how it sounds on the ark.

    "If she had to describe it, she would recall how each of her sons had at some point, discovered that if he peed on a rock, the pee would splash. .....

    The rain reminded her of that, except that the rain came in a million streams. Which made her imagine God as a being with a million penises. Which terrified her. He would see her and punish her for it, so she tried to feel love, instead, for the many penised creature inside her head. "

    What the heck was that?? God is a many penised creature?? I'm sickened!!! That is disrespectful and illogical.

    Later the author somehow thinks it's acceptable to imagine a lesbian encounter between Naamah and another woman in her tribe. Why, other than for personal gratification or to inflame believers would this author choose this action?

    "Everyday day that Naamah came into the tent, Bethel tied it shut behind her. She undid Naamah's hair and undressed her then undressed herself. They lay on the bed and held each other so close their faces were beside each other, ..........

    Sometimes they kissed. Sometimes Naamah couldn't stand it and she grabbed Bethel's hand and moved it to her vulva."

    I'll spare you the rest word for word but it continues to talk about her wetness and her clitoris. It then compares sex with a woman and how she felt with Noah. I for one do not want to read about these things. The writing was explicit even if we were not talking about historical biblical people. (Yes I know they had sex -- doesn't mean I want to read an X rated account) Also, I am not anti - gay. I just do not want someone writing about a biblical person in such a manner when there is absolutely no evidence of Noah's wife being bisexual. There will be too many who believe this as a fact. Like I said -- I have no personal issues with however a person identifies THEMSELF. However, the bible does have an issue with homosexuality and therefore that is the problem I have with this depiction. It's obvious the agenda in this work is not to uphold Christian values.

    There are numerous other incidents that brought the bile into the back of my throat but This time I truly will spare you from them.

    I have never in all of my years said "do not read" any book. This will be my first. If you are a Christian, I recommend not reading this book otherwise you'll be as outraged as I am.

    1*\ 0* if possible ( 4.13*)

    In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine.

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