Book Review · OnlineBookClub · Religion · Retelling

First Family by Alice Langholt


Genre: Biblical Retelling
Number of Pages: 146
Publication Date: August 5, 2015

Rating: 5-star-review out of 5 stars
Story Perspective: Alternating First-Person
Themes: Creation, Family, Love, Grief, Loss, Parenting

downloadHere is a modern take of when God created Adam and Eve toward the beginning of the Bible. Told in multiple perspectives, the readers get an in-depth look on the emotional journey of the first family. Full of loss, angst, grief, love, and so much more, follow God’s first people as they grow as individuals and together.


At this point in my life, I am trying to reconnect and learn on a deeper level of the religion I grew up with, Catholicism. When this book came up as part of the Book of the Day program at OnlineBookClub, I was immediately intrigued. The cover isn’t very appealing, but the concept surely was.

One of the things that I found lovely about this book is the thoughts/feelings of each person, including God. It brought real life into the original stories and made it more relatable. I found the scenes of when God sent Adam and Eve away from the garden, Eve’s first bleeding, first pregnancy, the conflict between Cain and Abel, and the loss of Abel so much stronger than I’ve ever felt in any version I’ve read before. 

I also love how the author presented the thoughts of each character. There was a subtle shift of them growing as people. The book began with more simplistic language and feelings. As time passed, the characters’ language and feelings grew more sophisticated and deeper, showing the subtle progression of people.

The themes mentioned above were well presented and explored deeply. Specifically, the theme of angst and seeking approval is very strong here. I, especially, found Cain’s emotional difficulties sad, realistic, and complex. His constant turmoil of seeking approval, but not wanting to seem needy was done so well that my heart went out to him. Needless to say, his character, as well as the others were well-developed.

Overall, I loved this read and can see myself reading it again. It was done logically, true to first few Biblical stories, and was just a pleasure to read.

Absolutely! To those who would like a more emotional take on the first few stories from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.

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