Gold in Havilah: A Novel of Cain’s Wife by Jean Hoefling #BookReview

Reviewed by me for Reader’s Favorite.

Gold in Havilah: A Novel of Cain’s Wife by Jean Hoefling explores the extent of Akliah’s desire to be with her brother, Cain. In addition to her infatuation, the book explores how far Cain wandered away from the righteous path of his parents due to his insatiable thirst for searching the unknown. While Eve and Adam were too focused on the prophecy, which declared that their seed would crush the head of Serpens, Cain was feeling as if his parents did not appreciate his skills. Anytime Cain would try showing off his talents, Adam rebuked him for not contemplating the ways to crush Serpens. Eve, on the other hand, spent her days cherishing Cain too much and daydreaming about her days in Eden. Akliah felt that with all of her parents’ attention on her older siblings (Cain and Luluwa), they ignored her and her twin brother, Abel.

Adam promised Cain that Luluwa would be his wife; however, Luluwa did not like Cain’s rebellious ways. She had no interest in marrying him; Akliah, at the same time, was willing to do just about anything to win Cain’s affection. Her fascination with Cain made her jealous of Luluwa. She could not bear the thought of Cain being with anyone other than her. Akliah was having a hard time declaring her love for Cain, and this situation became further complicated with the arrival of Lilith in Cain’s life. Lilith’s claws were so deep in Cain that he could not hear reason in his parents’ wisdom and left to follow her. Even his departure did not deter Akliah from looking for ways to be with him.

Gold in Havilah: A Novel of Cain’s Wife by Jean Hoefling appears to be about the beginning of time; however, it is closer to our time in so many ways that it’s astounding. Kids seek acknowledgment from their parents and when they fail to feel accepted, they lose their ways. This attribute is very efficiently evident in Cain’s character. He could not get Adam to recognize his many skills that had nothing to do with the prophecy. Therefore, he began looking for recognition elsewhere. When Lilith praised his abilities and encouraged him, he could not help but be drawn toward her. Adam and Eve were so determined to getting back to Eden that they did not bother about Luluwa’s unwillingness to marry Cain and Akliah’s desire to marry him.

The author has not shied away from venturing the depths of negativity that Cain would have fallen to in the company of Lilith. He did despicable things and began detesting his parents’ ways of doing things. Even after his few encounters with the divine, he could not discern his transgressions. The author has taken complete creative freedom in the book, which has made it a compelling read.

Whether it was the inner turmoil of Akliah or the conversations of the characters, each aspect was relatable. The author has ensured that the story does not get predictable by placing just enough twists that keep the readers on the edge of their seats. I would recommend this book to the readers who enjoy a dark twist to the historical fiction. Although some may not like how negative Cain has been portrayed in this book, more openminded readers would commend the author for her imagination.

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