By Marianne Jones
I just devoured William Paul Young’s newest book Eve in one sitting. For those not familiar with Young, he`s a Canadian author whose self-published novel The Shack, initially written as a gift for his children, went on to sell 22 million copies and be translated into 48 languages to date. Suffice it to say that it struck a chord with a lot of people.
Along with making Young a superstar in some circles, it also drew a lot of fire from Biblical literalists who don’t “get” the difference between a work of art and a theological treatise.
I have to say that I loved The Shack when I first read it years ago. And Eve doesn’t disappoint. Like The Shack, it is a wildly imaginative, poetic and deeply moving book about where the worst pain of the human heart meets the all-encompassing compassion and love of God.
Eve explores the story of Creation with some startling twists. It undermines traditional biases that blame Woman for the brokenness of the world. It declares the equality of the genders, as stated in Genesis. And it doesn’t flinch from showing the darkest horrors of the human experience: rape and trafficking of the innocent and vulnerable.
Young never shies away from writing about pain and atrocity, because he has experienced it in his own life. He is keenly aware that talking about God’s love to wounded people is meaningless without the willingness to hear their stories and comprehend their grief. In Eve he depicts the insidious way that shame takes root in trauma, and matures into self-hatred and a belief in one’s own unworthiness to be loved. He also shows how love explodes that lie and restores dignity and destiny.
I’m not usually a weeper when it comes to movies and books, but I challenge anyone to read this without tears.