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In the tradition of Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish and Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child, Noah’s Wife is a gorgeously written, brilliantly introspective, fable-like novel reimagining Noah’s Ark for our modern times.
When young minister Noah and his dutiful wife arrive at their new post in the hills, they find a gray and wet little town where it’s been raining for as long as anyone can remember. Noah’s wife is determined to help her husband revive this soggy congregation, but soon finds her efforts thwarted by her eccentric new neighbors, among them an idiom-wielding Italian hardware store owner, a towering town matriarch, and a lovelorn zookeeper determined to stand by his charges. Overwhelmed, Noah’s wife fails to realize that Noah, too, is battling his own internal crisis.
Soon, the river waters rise, flooding the streets of the town and driving scores of wild animals out of the once-renowned zoo. As the water swallows up the houses, the telephone poles, and the single highway out of town, Noah, his wife, and the townspeople must confront not only the savage forces of nature but also the fragile ties that bind them to one another.
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.
Lindsay Starck was born in Wisconsin and raised in the Milwaukee Public Library. She studied literature at Yale and creative writing at Notre Dame. She is editor in chief of Carolina Quarterly and writes and teaches in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and their dog. Noah’s Wife is her first book.