Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on January 26, 2016
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration.
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Noah’s Wife is a story of a community battered by a relentless downpour from the heavens, a gray and wet little town teeming with eccentric characters who have learned to endure the extraordinary circumstances of the rain with astonishing human fortitude and willfulness.
When Noah’s wife arrives with her minister husband to this small coastal town, she is driven by her desire to help revive the congregation. However, she is thwarted by the resistance of her eccentric new neighbors and her failure to realize that her husband is battling his own internal crisis.
As Noah and his wife strive to bring the townspeople to the church—and keep the strains on their marriage at bay—the rain intensifies, impeding their efforts. Soon the river waters rise, flooding the streets of the town and driving scores of wild animals out of the once-renowned zoo. And so, Noah, his wife, and the townspeople must confront the savage forces of nature and attempt to reinforce the fragile ties that bind them to each other before their world is washed away.
Full of whimsy and gentle ironic humor, Noah’s Wife is a wise and poignant novel that draws upon the motifs of the biblical flood story to explore the true meaning of community, to examine the remarkable strength of the human spirit, and to ask whether hope can exist even where faith has been lost.
This was such a great premise! At first it was executed very well. It didn’t feel like a lazy retelling of Noah and the Ark; the story definitely had its own identity. The setup was great, the description of the town and its quirky inhabitants were interesting. And I enjoyed all of it until about halfway through.
From that point on, it dragged and dragged, just like the gray, rainy days of the small town at the center of the book. Maybe that was the point, and I’m not romantic enough to go along with that. It wasn’t the writing itself—Starck’s storytelling, her way with words, is quite nice. But I needed something more. Whenever something happened, I barely felt interested at all. I found I didn’t care at all about any of the characters. The ending was stronger, but was it worth it? I’m not sure.
Overall, Noah’s Wife was an “okay” read. There are some great themes focusing on small town life, human stubbornness, and the strength of women, but I thought the book only scratched the surface of these themes and never fully delivered.