In the waning months of World War II, young Evelyn Roe's life is transformed when she finds what she takes to be a badly burned soldier, all but completely buried in the heavy red-clay soil on her family's farm in North Carolina. When Evelyn rescues the stranger, it quickly becomes clear he is not a simple man. As innocent as a newborn, he recovers at an unnatural speed, and then begins to change - first into Evelyn's mirror image, and then into her complement, a man she comes to know as Adam.
Evelyn and Adam fall in love, sharing a connection that reaches to the essence of Evelyn's being. But the small town where they live is not ready to accept the likes of Adam, and his unusual origin becomes the secret at the center of their seemingly normal marriage.
Adam proves gifted with horses, and together he and Evelyn establish a horse-training business. They raise five daughters, each of whom possesses something of Adam's supernatural gifts. Then a tragic accident strikes the family, and Adam, in his grief, reveals his extraordinary character to the local community. Evelyn and Adam must flee to Florida with their daughters to avoid ostracism and prying doctors. Adrift in their new surroundings, they soon realize that the difference between Adam and other men is greater than they ever imagined.
Intensely moving and unforgettable, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope captures the beauty of the natural world, and explores the power of abiding love, and otherness in all its guises. It illuminates the magic in ordinary life and makes us believe in the extraordinary.
©2013 Rhonda Thomas Riley (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
i like to read. i like to listen.
this book was really really breathtaking. what an imagination this author has. i mean, the story of adam hope is so interesting and unique and inventive. narrated by the woman who found him, adam's wife, evelyn, it's quite sad at times, extremely thought provoking, and really beautifully written. i haven't listened to anything narrated by Stina Nielsen before...but will check out her other books. she really was a great reader.
i like the fact that though this story revolves around someone so unique and different and special…the true nature of the book is about relationships. it's really a story of unconditional love and love of family.
the character of addie/adam/"A" is so well developed. a supernatural being, of sorts, he's so full of joy and his spirit rings so sweetly in the story. you can't help but love him (her? it?). there is an innocence about him that reminds me of a child, but a maturity and grace that you wonder if he's been around forever. the mystery of his origins, and especially of his "voice" are never resolved…but that doesn't matter (at least not to me). the story that unfolded around him was good enough for me to be satisfied. i felt that, as a reader, i too had to take a leap of faith and accept him for who and what he was…and love him for it without question. just like evelyn did.
it's hard to say anything about the book without sounding like a book report…and moreso because it's really just a pleasure to unwrap and discover for yourself and i wouldn't want to ruin the wonder of this book for anyone. its a great sweeping novel, a fantastic and compelling read and i recommend it wholeheartedly.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Oh, where to start, where to start. I could really pick this apart, especially the first half, but I feel to guilty to, so I'll just skim through some of the more eye-rolling bits. First, you REALLY have to suspend A LOT of disbelief to get through the origin part of this, the morphing into Addie, the fact that everything is soooo convenient with her arrival, from the fact that the rains make the trains stop so that their (hers and Evelyn's) isolation give them more time together, to the family/community's easy acceptance (it is almost painful). Then there are so many repeated metaphors and, hey, I'm am TOTALLY no prude, but my gosh! Chill out on the sex! I was getting glassy-eyed, and if I had to hear about a body being "made into a room" one more time, I would've screamed. Okay, that's it for the tirade about the first half. The good part:
This is really well written, the characters are fleshed out and given honest to God emotions and true-to-life characteristics. They interact with each other believably. And Stina Nielsen is a revelation. (Although I did listen to this at x1.25 to x1.50 speed as I get twitchy about lagging pauses). And God bless Rhonda Riley for an original storyline.
That said, everything falls apart in the second half. You realize that the plot just doesn't hold together--it's a series of events, and even the theme is fuzzy. Which is odd because with such a character as "Adam Hope" one would think theme would be oozing all over the place.
I know this isn't going to be a popular review, but really. One reviewer said they wanted the book to last and last and last. And to me, it did. But, alas! I didn't want it to. I wanted it to end. Like, soon!
I dunno. I guess I was just looking for something more heartfelt, more beautiful
A beautifully written love story that like love can sometimes feel larger than life itself. . But when love comes realism and the practical and the physical world can sometimes transcend all that you see feel and do. To fully enjoy this book you have to suspend many of your premises about the real world and just fall into it just like you're falling in love with hope and trust and more than a little faith . That's what this book is for me and why it will always be one of my favorites a chronicle about the incredible faith we have and those who love. Not to mention the added bonus of wonderful writing
The best part of this story is the imaginative mind that wrote it. Such a great love story. The character of Addie/Adam is unlike any other. Evelyn was my favorite character however because of her courage in living out an extraordinary life.
Although the reader was excellent, as was the story, I did not want to read it in one sitting: I wanted it to last and last and last.
Surprising storyline! Such a beautiful and well thought out plot. Listening to the words of the author made me proud of the English language! Articulate, intelligent and elegant. The characters were so believable and deep. I will listen again !
This book was amazing beginning to end, this narrator is new to me and quickly becoming a favorite. Each time I think I've read every good book out there, someone proves me wrong. A more unique love story you will not find. Adam (and Evelyn) will amaze you, I fell in love with them immediately. I stayed up way too late, 2 nights in a row, trying to find out "what happens next!". I will listen to this again (as well as read it!). It will be hard for this author to top this. I can't wait for her next book.
I don't think they'd make a movie out of it without changing it substantially, because it doesn't go anywhere enough for the screen, I don't think.
I loved a lot of this book. But I wasn't entirely satisfied with a few things in the story - I didn't like the way the Christian faith was dismissed without ever being really understood - the most trite and useless answers to the big questions drove me crazy. And yet, the characters cling to church and hymns - all for a very shallow experience for people who are so interested in asking questions. "What kind of God is this?" never seemed to be worth asking.
I also really struggled with the lack of answers about A. It made me feel as though the story was incomplete, without closure. Sometimes life is just like that, but I always felt that it was going somewhere, especially with the voice, and it just...didn't supply enough.
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