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In the Shadow of the Ark [Paperback]

By Anne Provoost (Author)
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Item description for In the Shadow of the Ark by Anne Provoost...

It was the rising waters that chased Re Jana's family from their home in the marshes. To the desert they fled, following the trail of animals and people who had gone before them. And there, in the dry center of the desert, rose the frame of a boat of unprecedented proportions, Noah's ark.

Even as she falls in love with the builder's son, Ham, and panic spreads in the gathered tribes, Re Jana questions all that she hears and believes her family will be saved, even as the deluge begins and the doors to the ark are sealed.

In Anne Provoost's In the Shadow of the Ark, Re Jana and her fishing family have fled their overflowing marshes to find work with thousands of others in the desert territory of the Rrattika: "the people who wander." One of the wanderers, a mad man named Noach, is building a huge ship in the middle of the desert. Re Jana's father, a shipwright, reluctantly joins the community of workers who have made their homes at the base of the ark. Re Jana, a healer and masseuse, charms Ham, one of Noach's sons, with her scented oils and her talent for divining a particularly sweet water source. She is initially amused, and then slowly alarmed at his insistence that his father's god will create a flood mighty enough to lift the great ark from the desert floor. Despite the fact that Ham chooses another woman for his wife, Re Jana is sure that his true love for her and her family will insure them a place upon the ship, should the rains really come. Her father, hedging his bets, builds a boat in secret, hoping to cheat Noach's god, who has declared that only Noach and his family will survive the looming deluge. As Re Jana struggles to understand how any god could be so unfeeling as to wipe out all life, the waters begin to rise. As the terrifying prophecy unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear to the doubters that Noach's mad ravings were true. Will Re Jana and her family survive the flood? For the sake of all mankind, they must try.

Belgian author Anne Provoost has taken a familiar Bible story and created an epic so panoramic that we see this long vanished world through new eyes. Provoost is a powerful storyteller who creates secondary characters that are just as vibrant and luminous as her curious and questioning adolescent narrator. Readers will ache with the foreknowledge of the story's end, hoping that the people they have come to know and cherish will escape their seemingly inevitable fate. Weaving together timeless themes of justice, faith, love and hope, In the Shadow of the Ark is at once classic and immediate, completely familiar, and yet radically indefinable. Masterpiece is not too strong a word to describe this all-encompassing story. Pair it with Elsie Aidinoff's The GardenThe Garden or The Red Tent by Anita Diamant for a provocative mother-daughter book discussion.--Jennifer Hubert

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Berkley
Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.7" Width: 4.1" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 2006
Publisher   Berkley
ISBN  0425211029  
ISBN13  9780425211021  

Availability  0 units.

More About Anne Provoost

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Anne Provoost lives with her husband and three children in Antwerp, Belgium. Her four novels have been translated into ten languages, have won numerous major awards in Europe, and have been selected for the International Board on Books for Young People honor list. Her novel Falling was made into a feature film. She is a member of the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature.
John Nieuwenhuizen was born in the Netherlands, and later emigrated to Australia, where he now lives outside Melbourne.

Anne Provoost was born in 1964.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > Biblical Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about In the Shadow of the Ark?

Possible great story ruined by underdeveloped characters...  Jan 31, 2008
Although I really enjoyed this sort of "third party" take on the story of Noah's Ark and found the tale in general an interesting one, I cannot bring myself to give this novel more than three stars.

Personally, I felt as if the characters were either undeveloped or not developed at all. Re Jana, being the main character, did not awaken much feeling in me, and I did not feel as if Ham was given any personalization at all. Neelata simply confused me. I found myself wondering if something was lost in the translation of this book, because how could an author come up with such a good plot line and yet not awaken any feeling for her characters? Unfortunately, I can't read Dutch, and I'm pretty sure that's the original language this book was published in.
Lost in Translation?  Aug 8, 2007
Although the subject matter was interesting, and yes, though provoking, the writing style was not enjoyable. Perhaps that is due in part to reading a translated version of the book.
Sordid and Depraved  Aug 1, 2007
I hated this book. And I am in no way a follower of "the unnameable one". I enjoyed The Red Tent and will continue to seek out that type of fiction among others, because I found it interesting.

I only got through this because I listnened on audio, and boy do I wish I had listened to something else for that ten hours. The beginning was somewhat interesting, realistically laying out how this ark building and filling business would have taken place. If this would be made into a movie it would have to be rated "NC-17". And not in a good way. Rape after overly convenient suicide after beating after rape. I kept waiting for some slight ray of light to come through. It never did. We just ended up getting a big dose of justification for racism, like a slap in the face. I found it sickening. Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised at that, considering the source material! Do yourself a favor and avoid it.
Now we know what happened to the Dodos!  Jun 15, 2007
I was dissapointed in many ways with this book. I loved The Red Tent and was hoping for a similar story based upon the Bible. Instead it was so far-fetched it seemed like a comedy in areas. Some parts were good but then something ridiculous or obscure would be thrown in leaving me ready to put the book down. I finshed it because it was for my book club and I am interested to hear the other thoughts on this book.
In the Shadow of the Ark  Jan 16, 2007
A well told tale with good description. It is hard to retell the Biblical stories, but I think the author did a pretty good job. It held my interest, but I am not sure that I would recommend it to others, I just don't know.

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