Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening Apple Books.If Apple Books doesn't open, click the Books app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

The Language of Paradise: A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Set in nineteenth-century New England, this exquisite novel tests a woman’s love against her husband’s utopian quest.

Sophy Hedge, the artistic daughter of the town's minister, falls in love with Gideon Birdsall, a driven theology student assisting her father with a Hebrew lexicon. Sophy is drawn to Gideon's intellect, passion, and spiritual nature, while Gideon glimpses in her a free soul unbound by convention. Yet Gideon's restlessness after they wed worries Sophy, and she finds his friendship with Leander Solloway, the charismatic new schoolmaster, a cause for anxiety. As the men immerse themselves in Gideon’s mystical theories, Sophy translates her fears into secret paintings.

When Sophy becomes pregnant, Gideon and Leander construct a faux Eden in a greenhouse as part of a daring experiment to discover the language of paradise—the tongue Adam spoke when he named the creatures of the earth. Sophy must decide whether to live and paint in the world her husband has made or escape to save her child and herself.

Addressing the timeless issues of faith, art, and the elusive dream of perfection, Barbara Klein Moss has captured the fragility of human longing.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 16, 2015 – In an earlier story collection, Little Edens, Moss explored humans' pale imitations of paradise in their all-too-flawed lives. In her debut novel, she further delves into utopian ideals. Set in 1830s New England, Sophy, the free-spirited adopted daughter of a minister, begins a relationship with Gideon, who is studying theology and Hebrew with Sophy's father. But even (or especially) after their marriage, Gideon discovers that their daily realities fail to capture the Edenic rapture of their initial encounter, when he spotted Sophy dancing in a meadow. Gideon's real passion is reserved for his studies, particularly his quest for the original language uttered by Adam in the Garden of Eden. When Sophy becomes pregnant, Gideon, aided by the town's beguiling and shrewd new schoolmaster, hatches a plan to use the child to discover the language of paradise. The novel's world never collapses under the weight of the substantial research that informs it; it is vibrant and, especially in the second half, engrossing. Throughout, Moss's language is precise and controlled, effectively describing the inner lives of Gideon and, in particular, Sophy, whose initial childlike innocence makes way for something much stronger and harder earned.
The Language of Paradise: A Novel
View in iTunes
  • $22.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Apr 06, 2015
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this book.

More by Barbara Klein Moss