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Description⎮Reviewed Jun. 2016
Narrator: Melissa Carey
Length: 11h 48m
Publisher: Teresa K. Thorne⎮2014
4.5 ★ Audiobook⎮ I don’t think I will ever be able to look at the biblical tale of Noah quite the same again. Considering the amount of available information the author had to go on, I am in awe of her ability to spin such an incredibly deep and evocative story from so little. I seriously doubt that I will ever be able to think of Biblical Noah without Thorne’s Na’amah immediately springing to mind. This story provoked very strong existential will feelings from me. It was an incredible experience to be able to identify modern and universal themes occurring in a story set more than 7,500 years ago.
By far, the most impressive thing about the story was the attention to detail and the amount of research that obviously went into writing it. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that would go into researching for this type of story. Yet, everything flowed so well and nothing ever felt forced. Thorne clearly understands that gradual, but complete, character development is the key to letting a story unfold organically. Na’amah was such an original and inspirational character. I love when authors spotlight characters with disabilities, but (in my experience) we usually see that more often in stories with contemporary settings. For obvious reasons, most individuals with disabilities did not survive in ancient times. It is even stated in this book that the the traditional practice was to leave an infant seen as “damaged” outside to die from exposure or animal attack. Na’amah’s grandmother fought for her survival and advocated for her for the rest of her life. The bond they shared was absolutely beautiful. Na’amah was socially ostracized for her differences (what we would call autism, today), but ultimately, those differences were what saved her. I will never get tired of reading stories like this.
I highly recommend this audiobook for anyone interested in Biblical lore and historical fiction. Don’t expect anything too Dan Brown-esque. It’s much more tame than that and therefore probably less polarizing. I would, however, caution that this story contains prominent incidences of sexual abuse. I found that part of the plot ultimately very moving, but it did make me squirm at times (as it should). I know I review a lot Young Adult audiobooks, but I want to be clear: This is not one of them.
Narration review: I really felt like Melissa Carey became Na’amah in this narration. The soft timbre and slow rhythm of her voice perfectly aligned with my vision of the main character. Her voice is like a soft, sweet lullaby. I do not recall having one single complaint about her narration throughout the entire 11.5 hours and, for me, that’s a rarity. ♣︎
➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, T. K. Thorne, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, T. K.!