Genre: historical fiction; children’s literature; Christian literature; biblical fiction; based on true story; narrative; history
Plot Summary: Based on the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, “Adam and His Kin” recounts the story of the beginning of mankind, from Creation, the Fall of Man, the Promise of a Redeemer, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, to the Call of Abram.
My Review: Dr. Ruth Beechick is a teacher and homeschool curriculum developer, so that’s how I came across this book (being a homeschool graduate myself). When we were kids and in our first year of being homeschooled, Mom read “Adam and His Kin” aloud while we worked on our homework. I found it highly interesting then, and was curious to reread it to catch things I might not have when I was 12.
Reading the Preface to Ruth Beechick’s work is essential, as she explains the method in which she wrote it. Adam and His Kin recounts the story of Genesis in a biblical way, but fictionalizes it in a novel/narrative-form. The facts of the Bible are accepted literally, but she also allows her imagination to take flight between the lines. For ex., how the earth may have looked before the flood; what Shem, Ham, and Japheth did at the funeral of their father, Noah; did Shem visit Abram? etc. This book should not be read as the Bible, of course, nor should it be treated as a history book. But it is quite interesting to read the Genesis story as historical fiction. Not everyone will agree with the details she has included in her book, such as scientific theories about how the Flood was caused, the canopy of water over the earth, the Nephilim, etc., and Beechick admits that much of what she has filled in with her imagination is speculation, and is not yet agreed upon among Creation scientists. But there comes a point when prefacing every sentence with “maybe” is burdensome on the flow of storytelling, and this is what the author wanted to do: tell the story of our early ancestors. Her approach bothers some, but I do not believe the author intended in any way to skew the Bible’s teaching. And I do believe there is a place for God-given imagination.
For all it’s historical fiction style, it also seemed to give the familiar Bible stories a history book feel. It is definitely thought-provoking. Most interesting is how the Book of Genesis was written. It had never occurred to me that we might actually have something written to us by Adam, our first ancestor [see Gen. 2:4- 5:1]!
Beechick includes much of her studies on the Bible, early traditions, linguistics, mythology, archaeology,
and astronomy, making this a thoroughly interesting read, but resulting in some bad reviews by those who were bothered by “mixing the Bible with paganism.” However, I did not see a corruption of the truth on the author’s part,– only an imaginative explanation for the world’s corruption of the truth (pagan myths).
The first time I heard this read to me, the ideas raised were things I’d never heard or thought of before. But by the time I delved into it this second time, I had read many speculations, studies in archaeology, and scientific discoveries that caused Beechick’s work to not be so “new” to me anymore.
This book will be more be more interesting to the those who are not so familiar with all the science revolving around ‘the Gospel in the Stars’, Sumerian mythology, Flood science, and the Table of Nations. The book is written to younger audiences, but adults can get great enjoyment and education out of it, just the same. It is obviously highly recognized in the homeschool arena, but there is no reason why others cannot read and learn, as well! It could also be of interest to those who are non-Christians, and I invite them to give this book a try.