Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Review: In the Beginning by Abby L Vandiver

In the Beginning
By Abby Vandiver
Publisher: Media Web Publishing
Published: December 16, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

In 1997, Justin Dickerson, a Biblical Archaeologist, jumps at the opportunity to attend the Fifty Year Jubilee commemorating the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The invitation to Jerusalem could not have come at a better time. Her life is almost unbearable. Travel, conversation with colleagues, and celebrating the find that stunned the Christian and secular world alike in 1949 promises a wonderful diversion from personal angst. 
However, in the bustling metropolis of Jerusalem she learns that some of the 2,000 year 
old manuscripts, once hidden in clay pots in the caves of Qumran, may have been purposely destroyed. Obsessed with the discovery, Justin determines to find the truth. Family and an abiding faith are her anchors as she discovers the answer to Earth's ancient mysteries and what really happened In the Beginning . . . 

Book Links
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My Thoughts:

Justin Dickerson is a Biblical Archaeologist who discovers that some of the 2,000 year-old scrolls discovered along with the Dead Sea Scrolls have may have been repressed. She sets out to find the truth.

In the Beginning’s basic plot line sounds like a typical Biblical historical novel. Trust me. It’s not. The secret that Justin finds in the scrolls is definitely unique. It certainly not where I thought the book was going to go, so it gets high marks for a distinctive story-line.

I had a very difficult time connecting with the main character Justin Dickerson. It wasn’t because she was depressed. I could handle that. I’ve suffered with depression too, but she was crying and in such an emotional upheaval so much of the time and feeling and talking about thinking that she was going crazy so much. I truly think she needed to get some professional help. She was so obsessed with the manuscripts that she wanted to go work on them before even seeing her children who she’d been separated from for some time. I found that hard to fathom.

Parts of the book moved along at a good pace. These parts were easy to read and were interesting. Other parts of the book lagged. I’m sure these were included to try to help build the characters but having Justin and her siblings threaten each other with “going and telling Mommy you won’t help me” just wasn’t all that engaging.

My biggest issue with In the Beginning was the poor grammar and editing. As an archaeologist, Justin would have had enough education to know that the phrase “me and Claire” is inappropriate grammar. The other grammar, editing and proofreading errors should have been caught by the editors before the book was put on the market. The mistakes very much detracted from the enjoyment of the book.

The theory that Justin discovers in the scrolls that she translates is both fascinating and thoroughly thought out. It claims to be in harmony with the Jewish and Christian faiths. However, the theory is not supported in the Biblical writings.

In the Beginning was an interesting fictional account of a possible theory of an alternative account of how man came to be on the planet earth. I gave this book 3 stars mainly due to the editing, grammar and inconsistent flow of the pacing.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Ohio, Ms. Vandiver is a former lawyer and college professor of Economics. She holds a bachelors in Economics, a masters in Public Administration and a Juris Doctor. These days, Ms. Vandiver enjoys writing and endeavors to devote all her extra time to it.

Her debut novel, In the Beginning, an Amazon #1 BEST SELLER in its category was written on a whim, put in a box for more than a decade, and finally pulled out, dusted off and published in 2013. It has inspired her to write a sequel as well as start a series of books loosely based on her family.

Ms. Vandiver resides in Cleveland, Ohio and has three wonderful grandchildren, Gavin, Sydne and Riley.

Look for more from this new and talented author.

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