cover image The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us

The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us

Bruce Feiler. Penguin, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59420-681-8

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. (Mar.)