David Maine

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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Their expulsion from the Garden is only the beginning: Eve and Adam have to find their way past recriminations and bitterness, to construct a new life together in a harsh land. But the challenges are many for the world's first family. Among their children are Cain and Abel, and soon they must discover how to be parents to one son who is everything they could hope for, and another who is sullen, difficult, and rife with insecurities and jealousies. In the background, always, is the incomprehensibility of God's motives as He watches over their faltering attempts to build a life. In Fallen, David Maine has drawn a portrait of a family—one driven (and riven) by passions, irrationality, and love. The result is a story of brothers, a husband, and a wife—people whose struggles are both completely familiar and yet utterly original.


Praise for Fallen

"David Maine's Fallen builds suspensefully toward what is arguably the best-known episode in the story of mankind: the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden . . . this book's power to rivet the reader approaches the miraculous."—The New York Times
"Artful and challenging . . . the topic is fascinating and Maine's writing is suffused with an economical beauty."—The Tampa Tribune
"Maine is enormously talented at extrapolating rich characters from a few brief verses."—The Washington Post
"A thought-provoking account of man's fall from grace. In illuminating the story of Genesis, Maine re-imagines the first family, from Adam and Eve's expulsion to the murder of Abel, offering an intimate portrait of a damaged, all-too-human clan. Told in reverse chronology, beginning with the death of Cain, the novel inches backward, each movement unveiling those wounding moments and fatal flaws that can lead to disobedience and murder. As the world's first murderer, Cain spends years wandering, shunned and stoned, bearing the mark of his crime and also protected by it, until he finds a wife and has a son, and then, ironically, becomes the first architect and builder of a great city. As a young man, Cain is clever and moody, a diligent worker, but also dangerously questioning, and as with all natural rebels, a thorn in the side of authority. So unlike mild-mannered Abel, full of mediocre advice and mindless acquiescence (even Adam sees Cain as the more noteworthy man), Cain seems predestined to murder (Eve expects no less from her child, whom she suspects killed his twin in utero). Though the tragedy of the two brothers, and the repercussions in a world in which murder can now exist (Cain disturbingly happens upon a young boy who has followed his murderous example) is good drama, the story's winning moments are in examining the novelty of being the first of your kind, of having to literally discover everything in the world. Eve copies a spider's web for a fishing net, and Adam brings home fire from a lightning strike—and both are tormented that any of this has to be invented at all, because life was perfect in the Garden. At once witty and poignant, Maine captures the frail humanity of the world's first family."—Kirkus Reviews
"The portrayals are vibrant and three-dimensional; there is a raw energy to Adam and Eve, especially, that makes them almost leap off the page. Cain's simmering resentment is disturbingly appealing, and the reverse chronology is a masterful stroke that emphasizes the stark power of regret. The language throughout the book is spare and beautiful, and the author weaves his story with such finesse that readers are left thinking, Well, of course it happened that way! Fallen breathes new life into one of humanity's oldest stories."—Kim Dare, School Library Journal
"Maine tackles biblical narrative once again in his inventive second novel, a spirited retelling of the creation yarn and the conflict between Cain and Abel . . . Maine's equally compelling retelling of the creation myth explores, among other things, the dynamic between the world's first husband and wife as it evolved, bumpily and confusingly, after they were banished from the Garden of Eden. What makes this intelligent, funny, meaty and moving novel so fascinating is the ease with which Maine inserts a modern sensibility and keen psychological analysis even as he jumps back and forth between the timelines of the two narratives and remains faithful to their biblical roots."—Publishers Weekly

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One 
40 the old man
The mark burns upon him all the time now. Its hurt is open and shameful like a scab picked until it bleeds. In years past he could find ways to forget it or at least misplace his awareness for a while; it was never easy but he managed. These days he cannot. There is nothing to fill Cain's time so the mark does this for him.
It stains his flesh like a parasite.
Countless people have witnessed it over the years, but even those who have not don't lack for an opinion. Some say it is a letter--the first letter of his name, reversed
Read the full excerpt


  • David Maine

  • 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.
  • David Maine
    David Maine