The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication: February 7th 2023 by Simon Schuster
Taken from Goodreads: From the award-winning author of Yellow Wife, a daring, beautiful, and redemptive novel that explores what it means to be a woman and a mother, and how much one is willing to sacrifice to achieve her greatest goal.
1950s Philadelphia: fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on track to becoming the first in her family to attend college, in spite of having a mother more interested in keeping a man than raising a daughter. But a taboo love affair threatens to pull her back down into the poverty and desperation that has been passed on to her like a birthright
Eleanor Quarles arrives in Washington, DC, with ambition and secrets. When she meets the handsome William Pride at Howard University, they fall madly in love. But William hails from one of DC’s elite wealthy Black families, and his parents don’t let just anyone into their fold. Eleanor hopes that a baby will make her finally feel at home in William’s family and grant her the life she’s been searching for. But having a baby—and fitting in—is easier said than done.
With their stories colliding in the most unexpected of ways, Ruby and Eleanor will both make decisions that shape the trajectory of their lives.
My Thoughts: The House of Eve is the story of two black women who dream to be someone, who dream to be bigger than their family’s history. The history of women getting pregnant before marriage and being sent away to have their babies is not something new. In the 1940’s there were not many places that would take black women who were “soiled.” It is also not new that some women struggle to get pregnant. This is that story, a story of heartbreak, love, social status, social shame, and family.
It broke my heart how Ruby was treated by society. I wanted people to see that she was destined to be someone important. She had dreams, motivation, and the will to get what she wanted. She saw a path for her and made difficult decisions to get there. Eleanor was also following her dreams. She was in college working towards the life she wanted. The she met “Mr. Back” and things changed. Her life took a different path but I really liked that she kept on with her dreams and did not let society dictate what path her life should be.
Sadeqa Johnson wrote a book that I could not put down. I am a fan for life and will read everything she writes. The research and the emotions come through in her writing. She writes real books, with real characters living real lives.
Thank you Simon & Schuster for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads
Meet Sadeqa Johnson (Taken from her website): Sadeqa Johnson, a former public relations manager, spent several years working with well-known authors such as J.K. Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan and Bishop T.D. Jakes before becoming an author herself. She is the international best-selling author of four novels and the recipient of the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award and the USA Best Book Award for best fiction.
Her most recent novel, Yellow Wife, was named by Oprah Magazine as "27 of 2021 Most Anticipated Winter Historical Fiction books." Yellow Wife was also a 2021 Goodreads Choice Award finalist for historical fiction.
Sadeqa's novels have received starred reviews from Kirkus and Library Journal and have been featured in top reads lists by NBC News.com, Good Housekeeping, Christian Science Monitor, Reader's Digest, Off The Shelf, W Magazine, Country Living, Hollywood Life, Parade, She Reads, and many others. She is a passionate public speaker, writing coach and Kimbilo Fellow. She teaches for the MFA program at Drexel University and is a small group writing mentor for Story Summit.
Originally from Philadelphia, Sadeqa currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, their three children and dog, Penny.