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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.
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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