Review: The Book of Heaven: A Novel

The Book of Heaven: A Novel
The Book of Heaven: A Novel by Patricia Storace
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I thought this book was going to be amazing: an inventive and original mythology, re-tellings of bible stories through the eyes of female protagonists and constellations. Turns out, I was very sorry to have chosen this heavy hard cover to lug around Manhattan for 2 days. Even trapped for 5 hours on a bus with nothing else to read, I had to skip the introduction. I feel terrible about not liking this — It has received so much praise and it obviously was a lot of work. But Storace has adopted a biblical style writing tone, and it’s so dry and list-y and remote from the characters. I looked forward to reading this — I am going to give it another day or two (currently on p. 150 or so).

I finished The Book of Souraya and the Book of Savour. I think I’m going to stop here. Though the women may be “at the foreground of their stories” as the jacket flap states, these are still ugly stories in which women are sold and wed and enslaved against their wills, and in which those women who have power use it to make other women’s lives hellish. It’s not for me.

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