Thursday, 14 January 2016

'Noah's Wife' by Lindsay Starck (*****)

Hello readers :) I hope that with January nearly behind us you are all now in the swing of things and that the New Year has started off well for you! I have just about got to grips with the fact that I am now starting my second semester of university, and that I actually need to do some course reading now...


But let's just forget about the course reading for a minute *urrggghhhh* and look back to December, to what I was reading over the Christmas holidays! Today I'm going to review the absolutely brilliant Noah's Wife by the talented Lindsay Starck- a book that was perfect to read with the wind howling outside and the rain pounding against my bedroom window. As soon as I saw this title in Turnaround UK's catalogue I knew it was a book I simply had to have, and as soon as it arrived in the post for me I was even more excited to read it. It's quite a large paperback (which I LOVE) and the pages were slightly distressed on the edges, which created a beautiful effect. Also, can I mention just how absolutely gorgeous the front cover is?! Luckily for me, the beauty of the book itself was perfectly mirrored with the beauty of what was inside :)

I was kindly sent Noah's Wife by Turnaround UK in exchange for an honest review :)

Intrigued? Read the blurb to find out more...

Noah’s Wife is a story of a community battered by a relentless downpour from the heavens, a gray and wet little town teeming with eccentric characters who have learned to endure the extraordinary circumstances of the rain with astonishing human fortitude and willfulness.

When Noah’s wife arrives with her minister husband to this small coastal town, she is driven by her desire to help revive the congregation. However, she is thwarted by the resistance of her eccentric new neighbors and her failure to realize that her husband is battling his own internal crisis.

As Noah and his wife strive to bring the townspeople to the church—and keep the strains on their marriage at bay—the rain intensifies, impeding their efforts. Soon the river waters rise, flooding the streets of the town and driving scores of wild animals out of the once-renowned zoo. And so, Noah, his wife, and the townspeople must confront the savage forces of nature and attempt to reinforce the fragile ties that bind them to each other before their world is washed away.


Full of whimsy and gentle ironic humor, Noah’s Wife is a wise and poignant novel that draws upon the motifs of the biblical flood story to explore the true meaning of community, to examine the remarkable strength of the human spirit, and to ask whether hope can exist even where faith has been lost.

Noah's Wife is a loose retelling of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark in the Old Testament, and I've never read a retelling of a Biblical story before, so this intrigued me. The book follows the troubled, eccentric lives of individual members of a community who live in a tiny town where it rains. Relentlessly. It is a story about human character, strength and fortitude, hope and the absence of it. It is also a tale of human relationships, commitment, and faith. Is it sometimes okay to accept defeat? When do we give up with each other? Who do we have a responsibility towards? Is there anyone 'up there', and if so, does He listen? All of these questions, plus many more, are explored in the novel, through the quirky, eccentric voices of the various characters.

The thing I adored about Noah's Wife, right from the first page, was Starck's writing. It was beautiful, intricate, delicate and fitted the novel perfectly. The detailed and carefully crafted characterisation, along with the beautiful writing, made the novel the success that it unquestionably is. The descriptions of the tiny town and small-town life were faultless and I could clearly imagine everything in my head, which really worked for a story that depicts the impossible, or the hard to believe. However, the beautiful descriptions ensured that I was never lost, and could be as fully engrossed in the story as possible.

Another strength of Noah's Wife for me was definitely the characters. In the Acknowledgements Starck points out that the novel started out as an array of character sketches, and you can clearly decipher this from the detail that clearly went into creating all the characters. They were all funny, witty, ironic and eccentric, and even the characters you were meant to hate, I loved. Their interaction with each other was a delight to read and the dialogue was simply amazing. I really cared about what was going to happen to all the characters, and by the last chapter I felt genuinely fearful for the outcome, for these characters whom I had learned more and more about throughout the novel. As each chapter focuses on a different character, I got to know each character really well, and see the hidden depths that the characters couldn't see about each other. This definitely allowed me to be more invested in the book.

The book was also the perfect length, to go into enough detail about the plot line and characters, and I never once was bored. The ending (which I'm not going to spoil, obviously) was, in a word, perfect. I'm so glad Starck ended it the way she did. 

Overall, I think it's pretty clear that I adored Noah's Wife. It is such an incredible debut novel, with such a mystical and intriguing atmosphere and characters you will have a hard time leaving behind. I really hope that Lindsay Starck writes more books, as I will be the first to run to the bookshop to pick one up!

Check out Lindsay Starck here: http://www.lindsaystarck.com

Buy Noah's Wife here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Noahs-Wife-Novel-Lindsay-Starck/dp/0399159231/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451239778&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=noah%27s+wife+lindsay+sharpe

Until next time :)