The Home and Garden Journal of Kayla Pins

#amreading | Genesis-Inspired Novels

#amreading | Genesis-Inspired Novels
Photo by Michel Porro on Unsplash

I have four different reading goals going on this year…

  1. Read 50 books
  2. Read all 100 Newbery Award winning books by its centennial in 2022
  3. Complete Modern Mrs. Darcy’s (MMD) Reading challenge
  4. Read the Bible

Luckily they all overlap, so I am doing fine on progress towards my goals. Two of my recent reads ticked three boxes and happened to intertwine with box four- the book of Genesis which I just finished.

The first book I read is a Newbery winner (Goal #2) from 1981 (MMD #1), Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. The book’s title comes from the story of Jacob and Esau, twins from the book of Genesis. Jacob was the fairer of the twins, favored by his mother, and Esau was the more masculine, hard-working of the twins, favored by his father. Jacob stole both his brother’s birthright and his father’s blessing.

Jacob Have I Loved is a coming of age novel set in a rural New England town. It follows the story of Sarah Louise, who has grown up feeling slighted by her twin sister. She is the Esau of the story and feels left out from the attention constantly showered on her beautiful, talented twin.

I loved the book and found it to be more of an adult book written about a child than a children’s book, similar to my favorites Tallgrass and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is an epic novel that follows the story of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah. Dinah is mentioned in just one especially gory part of Genesis (which is saying a lot because Genesis was ROUGH) but otherwise forgotten.

The Red Tent parallels events in Genesis but offers an alternative spin on events from the bible, which are usually told from a man’s perspective. This book focuses entirely on women with a huge emphasis on menstruation and childbearing and may be considered to be empowering.

While highly rated by other people, (4.4 on Amazon; 4.17 on Goodreads) I didn’t love it. The historical setting was a little too ancient for my taste (says the one trying to read the bible- ha!). It was just a bit too gritty and gory for me. Not gratuitously so- it was true to the time period- but I’m quite a lightweight as far as that goes.

That’s what I #amreading– What are you reading/listening to? One book I’m stuck on from MMD’s list is a book in translation. Any suggestions?

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