A Journalist's Archive

The Heavens Before
Kacy Barnett-Gramckow
Reviewed by Kathy Hare

It’s not often I get to review a book by a local author.  While many of you may not recognize her name, Falcon Safeway customers are familiar with her friendly smile and service.  Kacy Barnett-Gramckow has lived in the area for over 20 years.  She began her writing career in 1985 specializing in religious novels and in 2005 "The Heavens Before" made the top 10 Christian fiction review list.

“The Heavens Before” is the first book in her Genesis Trilogy based on the biblical account of the Great Flood told through the perspective of Annah, the wife of Noah’s son Shem. While many adults enjoy the trilogy, Barnett-Gramckow said the series was actually written for the 12 through 16 age group.  I've only read the first book in the trilogy, but if the following two books match the prose in "The Heavens Before," young Christians should enjoy the entire trilogy.

 Annah finds herself living in a patriarchic culture where women have little value and murder, adultery, greed, avarice, and cruelty are commonplace.  After witnessing the murder of her father, she is forced to adopt the role of a mute in order to protect her own life.  This leads to further emotional and physical abuse from her entire family including her mother, who believes she has gone mad.  After one particularly violent encounter with her older brother, Annah rushes to the river and thinks, "Perhaps she should let the river carry her away."  But her life takes a dramatic turn when Shem, who is standing on the other side of the river, convinces her not to give in to despair.  

 Barnett-Gramckow creates a vivid picture of a godless world, a society without values, the one the Book of Genesis describes as worthy of God’s wrath because of its violence and immorality.  As in the biblical account of the great flood, all of the characters are either good or evil.  Noah and his family are the only people worthy of redemption.

While Barnett-Gramckow's description of the ark is more detailed than in the bible it still leads to the same questions non-believers always ask about a boat capable of holding all the creatures that inhabit the earth, but then this is not a novel for non-believers.  While a fantasy, this book was written for those who believe in the bible whole-heartedly.

First published in The New Falcon Herald
Article Copyright © 2006 Bluestack Consulting, Inc.
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