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Heavens Before, The Paperback – Nov 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers (November 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802413633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802413635
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #377,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Annah is a young women who lives in the time of Noah, residing among a people who are violent, selfish, having no thoughts for anyone but their own pleasure. She is held in contempt by all, believed to be mindless as she has not spoken since she observed the death of her own father many years before. While down at the riverside, she has a chance encounter with Shem, son of Noah. After she is nearly beaten to death by her brother, Shem rescues her through marriage and brings her to his family. At the prompting of the Most High, Noah brings warning of the coming great flood. The people must choose between evil and good as the day of judgment draws near.

Kacy Barnett-Gramckow has written a powerful novel in The Heavens Before, one that held me completely mesmerized with it's depiction of life before the flood. The details are rich and beautifully fleshed out, the characters larger than life. Annah's story left me breathless with her rise from the ashes of where she suffered so much wrong. It takes a talented author, indeed, who can take a story where everyone knows the ending, and create a novel that holds you in it's grip and takes you on a journey with unexpected twists and turns. God's light shines through this story, and you will leave the pages with a deeper understanding of his love and his grace and the marvel of his ways.

I highly recommend this book and give it a full 5 out of 5 stars. If you have never read this book, you are missing out. This book should be a must for any library.

Disclosure of Material Connection:

I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Format: Paperback
It is always an exciting thing for me to find a new author that writes well and can tell a good story. That is exactly what I have found in Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, author of "THE GENESIS TRILOGY - THE HEAVENS BEFORE".
This story is about Noah's flood as seen through the eyes of one of his daughters-in-law, Shem's wife, Annah.
The story begins with Annah amoungst her own people, in her own village on this side of the river. Her people are violent, self-centered, hateful people who are filled with greed, envy and strife.
Annah is hated and mocked by all of them who consider her to be the village idiot because she has not spoken for nearly 25 years; ever since she witnessed the murder of her father when she was but 12 years old. She has found that the only way she can cope with her grief, fear and anger is to let them believe what they will. She avoids the company of everyone as much as possible and spends most of her time down by the riverside where she is soothed by the beauty and tranquility of creation.
Finally, though, after years of pent up grief over the loss of her father and the misery inflicted upon her by her people, she decides to fall into the river and allow it to end the futility of her life. But someone on the other side of the river sees her, understands what she is contemplating and is able to wordlessly convince her not to end her own life. This person becomes a point of light in her world of darkness and gives her hope again.
One night, as she secretly follows her sister-in-law through the forest to the hovel of the Nachash and her Whisperers (evil, witchy, serpent worshipers), Annah discovers that the Nachash fears only the Most High, convincing her that the legends of the Most High are true after all.
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By tvtv3 on April 27 2004
Format: Paperback
I admit that I haven't read a lot of fictional romance books. In fact, I can only think of about three truly fictional romances that I have ever read in my entire life: one was secular, one was a Christian romance, and the other one falls somewhere inbetween. I read those books more out of duty and as a way of at least exposing myself to that type of writing. I really have had no intention of reading another fictional romance again, but when I had the opportunity to read THE HEAVENS BEFORE, I figured, "why not". Surprisingly, I was quite impressed with what I read.
The story is a retelling of Noah's Ark, told from the perspective of a young woman named Annah. Annah has not spoken since the murder of her father by her brother several years ago. Since she does not speak, everyone in her village assumes that she is an imbecile and they treat her as such. Annah's life seems miserable and one day she contemplates ending it all by drowing herself in the river. However, she is stopped from doing so by a handsome young man who lives on the other side of the river. From that moment on Annah's life changes forever.
I was struck by the careful use of visual imagery that Barnett-Gramckow uses throughout the book. She uses words to paint colorful pictures that evoke the mood of each scene in the book; for example warm descriptions for joyful places; jagged and harsh descriptions for violent people, places, and events. This is a somewhat unique style of writing and one that I really haven't come across before.
I also enjoyed reading about the story of the flood told from a different perspective. Noah's Ark was always one of my favorite Bible stories growing up (and it still is really) and I thought the author brought an interesting take to the tale.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 37 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Not Your Typical Romance. April 27 2004
By tvtv3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I admit that I haven't read a lot of fictional romance books. In fact, I can only think of about three truly fictional romances that I have ever read in my entire life: one was secular, one was a Christian romance, and the other one falls somewhere inbetween. I read those books more out of duty and as a way of at least exposing myself to that type of writing. I really have had no intention of reading another fictional romance again, but when I had the opportunity to read THE HEAVENS BEFORE, I figured, "why not". Surprisingly, I was quite impressed with what I read.
The story is a retelling of Noah's Ark, told from the perspective of a young woman named Annah. Annah has not spoken since the murder of her father by her brother several years ago. Since she does not speak, everyone in her village assumes that she is an imbecile and they treat her as such. Annah's life seems miserable and one day she contemplates ending it all by drowing herself in the river. However, she is stopped from doing so by a handsome young man who lives on the other side of the river. From that moment on Annah's life changes forever.
I was struck by the careful use of visual imagery that Barnett-Gramckow uses throughout the book. She uses words to paint colorful pictures that evoke the mood of each scene in the book; for example warm descriptions for joyful places; jagged and harsh descriptions for violent people, places, and events. This is a somewhat unique style of writing and one that I really haven't come across before.
I also enjoyed reading about the story of the flood told from a different perspective. Noah's Ark was always one of my favorite Bible stories growing up (and it still is really) and I thought the author brought an interesting take to the tale. People who might not have ever seriously thought about Noah's Ark might actually learn a thing or two by reading this book.
As much as I enjoyed reading THE HEAVENS BEFORE, it still is a fictional romance. Despite the fact that the writing is better than the few romances I have read in the past and that the author brings something original to a very old story, it's still a romance and I'm just not much of a romance reader.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
She was a human, a woman, a nothing... July 10 2005
By Rebekah Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Annah was once happy, but everything changed after her father was murdered. She watched as her brother, Yerakh, killed him in anger. Now to keep Yerakh from killing her as well, Annah must shroud herself in silence and assumed mindlessness, doing as she is told by a family that hates her.

However, in a chance encounter, Annah meets Shem, the son of Noahk, and finds his family is completely different from her own. Instead of the hate and treachery she has known, Shem's family loves each other. When Shem asks for her hand in marriage, she believes she has finally found a safe haven.

The Heavens Before was an excellent Flood novel. The believability of the whole story was fascinating. Thoughts on how a preFlood world would be like showed time spent in research of theories and the author's own creativity. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Genesis Trilogy.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting new perspective on an old story. May 27 2004
By Ginny Sutton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is always an exciting thing for me to find a new author that writes well and can tell a good story. That is exactly what I have found in Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, author of "THE GENESIS TRILOGY - THE HEAVENS BEFORE".
This story is about Noah's flood as seen through the eyes of one of his daughters-in-law, Shem's wife, Annah.
The story begins with Annah amoungst her own people, in her own village on this side of the river. Her people are violent, self-centered, hateful people who are filled with greed, envy and strife.
Annah is hated and mocked by all of them who consider her to be the village idiot because she has not spoken for nearly 25 years; ever since she witnessed the murder of her father when she was but 12 years old. She has found that the only way she can cope with her grief, fear and anger is to let them believe what they will. She avoids the company of everyone as much as possible and spends most of her time down by the riverside where she is soothed by the beauty and tranquility of creation.
Finally, though, after years of pent up grief over the loss of her father and the misery inflicted upon her by her people, she decides to fall into the river and allow it to end the futility of her life. But someone on the other side of the river sees her, understands what she is contemplating and is able to wordlessly convince her not to end her own life. This person becomes a point of light in her world of darkness and gives her hope again.
One night, as she secretly follows her sister-in-law through the forest to the hovel of the Nachash and her Whisperers (evil, witchy, serpent worshipers), Annah discovers that the Nachash fears only the Most High, convincing her that the legends of the Most High are true after all. She decides that if the Most High is the enemy of the Nachash, then she will believe in and follow Him. As she is discovered and threatened by death, she cries out to the Most High who delivers her from harm and destroys the one out to kill her.
Great evil and violence takes the life of her mother and middle brother and she is beaten, nearly to death, by her father's murderer. As soon as she is able, she runs back to the river to find the one who has been so kind to her. When he sees her condition and the danger she is in, he sets out to free her from her abusers and take her to safety. Thus begins her new life on the other side of the river with Noah and his family.
Ms. Barnett-Gramckow has a wonder talent for painting marvelous imagery with her words. She captivates you with her literary skill right from the start and never disappoints. She brings life and new perspective to one of the Bible's most famous events and makes you long to read more by the time you are done. I can't wait for the 2nd in this series to come out; I am confident it will be equally as uplifting, insightful and entertaining as this wonderful tale has been. I hope you read this book and enjoy it as much as I have.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Well written, well researched story! Nov. 8 2004
By Debbie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have almost given up on fiction retellings of Biblical history as very rarely does an author actually stick to what the Bible states on the subject. Therefore, I was tremendously pleased to read a wonderfully written story about Annah's life (pre-Flood and during the Flood) which also faithfully stuck to the Biblically provided information. This author not only is a talented writer, but she put a lot of time, research, and thought into what the pre-Flood world and the ark would have been like. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating story Feb. 11 2006
By Barbara Warren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Annah was only a child when she saw her older brother Yerakh kill their father. Yerakh threatened Annah, warning her not to talk. Afraid she would be killed if she said anything, she remained silent for twenty-five years. After a while her family and the villagers think she can't talk, that she is mindless, less than an animal, a nothing.

Then one day Annah met Seth, middle son of Noakh and realized the language of love doesn't require words.

Noakh and his family believe in the Most High and for years have been building a huge ark. They also believe one day the Most High will send a flood that will destroy every living thing on earth. The villagers think they are insane.

When Shem offers 500 of his finest animals and half of his grain, already threshed, for Annah, Yerakh thinks it is good to be rid of the worthless one. Safe in the lodge of Noakh, cared for by her new family and the beloved of her new husband, Annah speaks again. The old Annah, the worthless one, doesnt exist any more. She is now Annah-who-is-not-Annah in the eyes of her family. They plan to kill her, but before Yerakh can carry out his murderous plan, the earth breaks open, the waters rush in to cover the earth and everything and everyone not in the ark is destroyed, just as the Most High promised. Only Noakh, his wife, his three sons and their wives survive.

The Heavens Before is an intriguing story of the way the world was before the Geat Flood. The strongly developed characters come alive on the page and Annah will capture your heart. I finished this book hungry for more and immediately went searching for He Who Lifts the Skies and A Crown in the Stars, books two and three of the Genesis Trilogy.

It's a red letter day when I discover a new author and Kacy Barnett Gramckow ranks right up there as one of my favorites.


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