"A dreamy and transgressive feminist retelling of the Great Flood from the perspective of Noah's wife as she wrestles with the mysterious metaphysics of womanhood at the end of the world." —O, The Oprah Magazine
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 Blake reclaims the story of his wife, Naamah, the matriarch who kept them alive. Here is the woman torn between faith and fury, lending her strength to her sons and their wives, caring for an unruly menagerie of restless creatures, silently mourning the lover she left behind. Here is the woman escaping into the unreceded waters, where a seductive angel tempts her to join a strange and haunted world. Here is the woman tormented by dreams and questions of her own—questions of service and self-determination, of history and memory, of the kindness or cruelty of fate.
In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth, and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.
Blake reimagines the story of Noah's Ark from the perspective of Noah's wife, Naamah, in her inventive but erratic debut. As Blake envisions her, Naamah is a practical woman. During the Ark's construction, it is Naamah who remembers to stow buckets for washing and waste. Aboard ship, she serves as midwife to a ewe giving birth to two lambs, then later feeds the weaker, dying lamb to a restless tiger. After her son Shem is clawed by a polar bear, Naamah stitches up the cuts. Privately, Naamah is less matter-of-fact or down-to-earth. She mourns her lover, a widow lost in the Deluge, meets an Angel of the Lord and becomes the Angel's lover, and chats with a vulture that is really the mythic Metatron. Guided by a time-traveling descendant, she visits the 21st century, where she watches children playing with a Noah's Ark toy set. The author creates a for-adults-only multidimensional portrait of Noah's wife by combining biblical narrative with modern prose, fantasy with realism, spirituality with erotica. Despite its mysticism and metaphorical aspects that may perplex some readers, this is a remarkable feat of imagination. \n