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Abby L. Vandiver is a nom de gare.
Ms. Vandiver was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a bachelors in Economics, a masters in Public Administration and a Juris Doctor. In the Beginning is her debut novel. Originally written in 1997, In the Beginning some how got stored away and resurfaced in 2012 in her daughter's garage. She dusted it off and published it. Currently, Ms. Vandiver is working on the sequel, The Westbury End Book Club, due out in late 2013 as well as a series of books based on her family. The first in the series is entitled 1203.
Ms. Vandiver enjoys spending time with her family, especially her three grandchildren and traveling.
on Oct. 26, 2013 :
As other reviews have mentioned, this book is a mystery which combines Biblical history with science fiction. If that's not original, I don't know what is.The plot is intriguing but the characters caught my attention the most. They are so well drawn that they seem like real people and not fictional characters. The main protagonist, a woman named Justin, is a Biblical archaeologist who (as you would expect) is very religious. For example, she adamantly refuses to believe in evolution. She also suffers from depression and anxiety and has major doubts about herself. That makes her very sympathetic to me. All members of her very large family (eight siblings including her) come across as individuals rather than just background figures. Her brilliant but slightly daffy sister Claire is the most appealing of the bunch, and Justin's husband comes across as someone you would like having live next door.
In other words, these are the opposite of action-figure cookie-cutout characters and you can really relate to them. At one point, I was more concerned about Justin's mental health than about whether she discovered the answer to the mysterious secret. She does figure out the secret, of course, but I don't give spoilers so I'm avoiding giving clues. Anyone who enjoys good stories will like this book but those who prefer good stories about real people will be even more impressed.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 04, 2013 :
I have been finished with this book for two days and still can't figure out how to review it. It did hook me and I wanted to find out what would happen to the characters. But this angst of the main character, Justin, who I thought was a male in a committed relationship with husband, Mase, until I think the third chapter, was too much.
Look, I suppose there are scientists out there that can't wrap their minds around a couple theories of the origins of mankind at once but I doubt if they were 'believers' or that they would have this kind of mental breakdown. Not a true scientist. But maybe that is my problem and not that of the book.
Most of the book is a bit like Indiana Jill but beliefs of God are dealt with lightly, after all they are looking for the lost scrolls or artifacts yet to be found. The end of the book, though, gets a bit God heavy. And the angst grew when I didn't think it needed to be there. Still it was a very good read.
Thank you, Abby L. Vandiver, for giving me the free book for review.
(reviewed long after purchase)