From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness.
Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. That couple is Adam and Eve. Yet instead of celebrating them, history has blamed them for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world.
In this fresh retelling of their story, New York Times columnist and PBS host Bruce Feiler travels from the Garden of Eden in Iraq to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, from John Milton’s London to Mae West’s Hollywood, discovering how Adam and Eve should be hailed as exemplars of a long-term, healthy, resilient relationship. At a time of discord and fear over the strength of our social fabric, Feiler shows how history’s first couple can again be role models for unity, forgiveness, and love.
Containing all the humor, insight, and wisdom that have endeared Bruce Feiler to readers around the world, The First Love Story is an unforgettable journey that restores Adam and Eve to their rightful place as central figures in our culture's imagination and reminds us that even our most familiar stories still have the ability to surprise, inspire, and guide us today.
Feiler (Walking the Bible) addresses the impact that the first couple, and their complex experiences in and out of Eden, have had on Western society. While some of the insights are expected and cover well-trod ground, such as his discussions of Michelangelo and other artists, others are surprising and open trajectories into popular culture, as he considers the influence of Adam and Eve on people like Mae West and Frank Sinatra. Feiler explores how the larger paradigm of love, loss, recovery, and redemption in the Eden story has cast a long and enduring shadow across the wide spectrum of popular art and culture. "Humans might spoil the garden, but love never dies," he writes, and this undying love of God for people, and people for each other, can all be best understood in light of the Eden narratives. Taking the oldest story of romance and giving it a new gloss, this book may be Feiler's best work yet. A wonderfully readable, powerfully presented look into the influence of the original love.