In the Shadow of the Arkby Anne Provoost
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
THE RED TENT meets GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING in the profoundly moving tale of a young woman who survives the flood as a stowaway on Noah's Ark. "And every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth..." When ReJana and her family reach the desert plain where the great ship is being constructed, the world has already begun to change. The waters are rising everywhere, and both people and animals are beginning to panic. This is the dramatic story of the weeks and months that follow, as the rain transforms the earth and the people come to understand the magnitude of the disaster. This is the story of one girl who stows away on the ark for love of Ham, Noah's son. This is her story of survival.
June 1, 2004
Gr. 10-up. In the tradition of the adult novel The Red Tent comes this story of the biblical Flood, recounted by Re Jana, whose family leaves the marshes to find the ark. The passion Re Jana finds with Ham, son of the Builder, leads to a place on the ark, but this safe haven, with the stink and sounds of the animals, starvation, and repeated (if not lustful) rapes by Ham's brothers, tests her in every way, even as she carries new life into the New World. Exquisitely detailed and intelligently written, this is a YA novel only in the broadest sense; no one would blink if it appeared on an adult list. Teens will find themselves alternately caught up in the story's tension, especially once the rain starts falling, and bored by some of the religious and philosophical underpinnings. There are subtly portrayed sexual incidents, too (including a relationship between Re Jana and Ham's wife) but these are small stitches in a vast piece that strikingly reveals the human condition at the hour of its destruction. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2004 Booklist
July 1st, 2004
This beautiful, solemn, heavy retelling of the story of Noah's ark is narrated in first person by Re Jana, a dark-skinned young woman of a different race from Noah's light-skinned family. Re Jana's family journeys from marshlands to seek a rumored ship that's being built--inexplicably--in a desert. Nobody understands the project; only the Builder and his family know the purpose. Re Jana ponders (is it a landmark for posterity? a religious sacrifice?) while readers bear the brunt of knowledge about the upcoming flood. Re Jana becomes inextricably bound up in the Builder's family by falling in love with his son, Ham, who returns her love, and by performing her special oil-and-water massages on family members. Suspense slowly builds as the lands dampen. Consider this poetic, substantial piece a YA/adult crossover. The ending is both sad and relieving as it touches both the bible and the modern political world.
- Scholastic, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Scholastic, Inc.
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 12 - 18 Years
What People are Saying About This
Meet the Author
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
A book written with the depth of the period. I liked how the author gave emotion and human faces to an otherwise historical type tale. I would compare it to 'The Good Earth' by Pearl S Buck, the trials and tribulations of the times with the women in both books suffering what was required of them yet being strong and showing the back bone that women have always had.
This story is totally unexpected in many ways. The story of Noah and the ark building in the Bible raises many questions which Ms. Provoost goes about explaining in this very imaginative and unusual story. It is very believable and works out how such an understaking could be accomplished in a primitive society and landscape.
i really liked this book, and i disagree with people who say teens can't handle it, i'm 13! i guess it depends on their maturity level... but i would definitely reccomend this!
It was a good book....but it dragged and it dragged and it dragged... ReJana, hardly spoke, Ham was boring, ReJana's mother was by far the most ineteresting character and and she was handicapped... too much 'godness-like' image was given to Noah. The more interesting chapters were the ones on the ark.
In Canaan Re Jana and her family live near the marshes where her father has earned a living as a boat-maker and fisherman. However, the rising waters have made the area unsafe so they head inland into the desert where rumors abound that a great ship is being built by some maniac named Noah. Re Jana's father works on the ark construction. --- Re Jana also obtains work as the diviner of sweet water and as the bather of the Builder's sons. She and one of the sons Ham fall in love though a different female has been chosen for him. She also knows that the Builder believes his Unnamable God has warned him that a great flood is coming that will destroy anyone outside the ark, but only Noah and his family plus the animals will be allowed inside. Thus her father secretly builds a boat to save his family as the waters rise to affirm the madman¿s ranting as true. Ham builds a hiding place for his beloved on the ark not quite understanding that the Unnamable God has dictated the dimensions to Noah. --- Although not for everyone, IN THE SHADOW OF THE ARK is a well written interpretation of Noah¿s tale told mostly by how the fascinating Re Jana sees events especially her inability to comprehend how Noah¿s Unnamable God allows those working on the ark to die. Noah is portrayed radically different than the pious starter of a cleansed non-evil race as he and his sons commit murder and rape. Readers who appreciate powerful retelling of biblical tales will enjoy this strong version of Noah¿s Ark, but must keep in mind the mighty fall off their pedestal in Anne Provoost¿s rendition.
Although this novel gave an interesting interpretation of the biblical scene, it fell short in so many other areas. The book seemed to drag for ages without much plot development. The characters were 2 dimentional and did not display any true characteristics. The book left you feeling relieved that it was over, but upset you wasted so much time on it!
THis book was really interesting, but I think that many teens would find it boring. I would recommend it to teens who are mature and could handle the philosophical points in the story.