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"Noe says, -I must build a boat.
-A boat, she says.
-A ship, more like. I'll need the boys to help, he adds as an afterthought.
-We're leagues from the sea, she says, or any river big enough to warrant a boat.
This conversation is making Noe impatient. -I've no need to explain myself to you.
-And when you're done, she says carefully, we'll be taking this ship to the sea somehow?
As usual, Noe's impatience fades quickly. -We'll not be going to the sea. The sea will be coming to us."

In this brilliant debut novel, Noah's family (or Noe as he's called here)-his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law-tell what it's like to live with a man touched by God, while struggling against events that cannot be controlled or explained. When Noe orders his sons to build an ark, he can't tell them where the wood will come from. When he sends his daughters-in-law out to gather animals, he can offer no directions, money, or protection. And once the rain starts, they all realize that the true test of their faith is just beginning. Because the family is trapped on the ark with thousands of animals-with no experience feeding or caring for them, and no idea of when the waters will recede. What emerges is a family caught in the midst of an extraordinary Biblical event, with all the tension, humanity-even humor-that implies.


About David Maine

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David Maine was born in 1963 and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut. He attended Oberlin College and the University of Arizona and has worked in the mental-health systems of Massachusetts and Arizona. He has taught English in Morocco and Pakistan, and since 1998 has lived in Lahore, Pakistan, with his wife, novelist Uzma Aslam Khan.
Published April 1, 2007 by St. Martin's Press. 256 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for THE PRESERVATIONIST

Publishers Weekly

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And, of course, there's "the wife," 600-year-old Noe's once-teenage bride, who takes everything "Himself" (that's Noe, not God) dishes out with time-tested practicality.


BC Books

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David Maine’s retelling of the Biblical story of Noah (Noe, in this telling) and his ark, The Preservationist, is earthy, near-lyric and as tangible as the dung of countless pairs of beasts befouling the lower decks of a floating menagerie, the sharp sour-sweet taste of the first honey-fortified ...

Jun 25 2005 | Read Full Review of THE PRESERVATIONIST

Book Reporter

From the well-known Biblical story, Maine constructs a fully realized novel that not only explores issues of faith, doubt and devotion that arise from the Biblical text itself but also fully examines the effects of crisis on individuals and families.

Jun 16 2005 | Read Full Review of THE PRESERVATIONIST

AV Club

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God orders Noe's spawn to repopulate the earth, and that makes all of humanity part of this extended, diverse, resentful, bickering, grudging family.

Jul 26 2004 | Read Full Review of THE PRESERVATIONIST

Entertainment Weekly

''If not, well, I've got business to take care of, things to do, a wife to rut.'' It's not a profound novel, nor a memorable one, but Maine has spun a fun, irreverent tale from one of the oldest stories in the world.

Jun 25 2004 | Read Full Review of THE PRESERVATIONIST


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