In the Beginning

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in_the_beginningIn the Beginning – Facts, Fiction, Fantasy and Humour

Justin Dickerson is a Bible Archaeologist searching for the truth about a manuscript that was originally located with the Dead Sea Scrolls, but that may have been destroyed—a translation survives. It may hold the answer to what truly happened, “In the Beginning.”

She (yes, she has a male name) is a strong Creationist in her belief and has found that her research has always backed that up … but what secrets does this mysterious manuscript hold? Why did someone try to destroy it? Will it turn the Judeo-Christian world on its ear?

Author Abby Vandiver has written a novel laden with facts, fiction, fantasy and humour. Along with the serious nature of her protagonist’s work and the story line, there is the interaction with her rather dysfunctional, although very loving family. It is at once scholarly and playful. A woman with a chip on her shoulder, Justin takes us through her own, very human trials as her character is developed. A large part of the story involves her familial relationships.

Vandiver’s descriptions of place and character are strong and the feelings experienced by her characters are believable. The tale is related from the first person perspective and some of the narrative is conversational; feeling like one is sitting at the table listening to Justin tell the story. We get to join with her experiences from the mundane to the exciting; from boring to thrilling. The story moves between 1949 and 1997 and beyond so take the time to read the date information at the beginning of some of the chapters to ensure you are aware of what time frame it is from.

The reader becomes occupied in Justin’s daily life, and then is suddenly transported to new, exhilarating disclosures regarding the transcript and its meaning. There were a couple of occasions where it felt like a scene went on too long. However, the story builds nicely toward the climax, where the main point of the translation is revealed.

The only issue I had with the book was that I found myself lost in the dialogue sometimes … due largely to the punctuation used, particularly when one character’s speech was more than one paragraph.

I recommend this thought-provoking novel.

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