Noah's Wife

Noah's Wife - T.K. Thorne I enjoyed reading this novel, especially because of the writing style. This author's writing style flows so smoothly and has such a feather-light touch that I soon became engrossed in the story and forgot that it was a story.For the writing style alone, I would award this five stars (or more, of more were available).The plot is also great, a how-it-might-have-been historical tale loosely inspired by the Bible (but not a Biblical tale).What separates this novel from a masterpiece is the characterisation. Sadly, the character development is shallow.The villain of the story (the heroine's brother) is a common bully, a cardboard cut-out stereotype, with no real individual personality.The heroine's second love interest, who could potentially have been a great tragic character, also lacks individual personality. He functions in his role, but seems devoid of real character.The heroine's husband, Noah, starts out as a real character - an introvert loner who chooses to live outside of the village so he doesn't have to endure the constant closeness of other people - but even this character trait dilutes halfway through the story. He eagerly invites more and more people to live in his house, something no introvert would do, at least not eagerly and without reluctance. By the end of the novel, the individual character of Noah has vanished completely, and he is as personality-less and bland as the rest of the cast.The only character who comes across as a real person is the heroine. She's a properly developed individual. If the other characters were equally developed, this could be a great novel.For characterisation, I give this book three stars.I was puzzled to see tigers in Africa, something inconsistent with geography and biology as I know it. Although since the story is set before the Biblical flood, I'm willing to make allowances and assume that there were tigers in Africa at the time until the flood drowned them.Something which irritated me a lot was an animal called the 'auroch'. Presumably, this is meant to be the 'aurochs', with the last letter deleted. Why the 's' at the end is deleted, I don't know - either the author thought that 'aurochs' is the plural and just didn't bother with spell-checking and research, or maybe the author was making an artistic statement (which I confess I don't understand).There are other animals in the novel, but the author doesn't lop off their last letters for artistic statements: the fish isn't a fis, the goat isn't a goa, and even the tiger isn't a tige. It's only the aurochs which is mutilated.Other readers may not mind this, but for me, it was seriously irritating. Each time an 'auroch' entered the novel, I felt jolted out of story, and it spoilt my otherwise great enjoyment.With deeper character development and conventional spelling, 'Noah's Wife' could have been a masterpiece.