I was sent a free copy of The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson through TLC Book Tours. All opinions are my own.
About The House of Eve:
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.
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About the Author:
Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels. Her accolades include being the recipient of the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award and the USA Best Book Award for best fiction. She is a Kimbilo Fellow and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children. To learn more, visit www.sadeqajohnson.net.
You can purchase The House of Eve on Amazon.com
“The House of Eve is a triumph of historical fiction.…Johnson’s novel is an affecting and arresting exploration of young Black womanhood and motherhood in the mid-20th century…. Johnson’s talents are in full bloom in this layered story with two distinctive and compelling young Black women at the center…. The House of Eve is engrossing, emotionally wrenching and socially astute storytelling.”–Washington Post
“A heartrending story.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, via Goodreads
“A provocative and heartrending tale about two young women forced to face the limitations of their reproductive choices in 1950s America. Ripping open the complex intersection of classism, colorism and gender inequality, Johnson has delivered a powerful statement on the cost of suppressing female autonomy that’s stunning to experience and impossible to forget.”–Atlanta Journal Constitution
“This is a moving work of women’s fiction with timely perspective on racism, colorism, and pre-Roe women’s rights in the United States of the 1950s. Fans of Tayari Jones, Brit Bennett, and Jeni McFarland will want to check it out.”—Library Journal
“Johnson’s suspenseful and thought-provoking latest follows two young Black women as they separately navigate mid-20th century America…. This well-crafted work is bound to provoke discussion among readers about the conflicts women face regarding pregnancy.”—Publishers Weekly
“Johnson showcases the difficult boundaries of race, class, and education as she explores the obstacles and consequences that confront those who seek to cross them.”—Booklist
“Johnson’s portrait of young women with sharp wit and big dreams is powerful and honest.”–PopSugar
“If you’ve read Sadeqa Johnson’s other books, you’ll know her extraordinary talent for writing historical fiction that breaks the mold by challenging dominant narratives and encouraging readers to rethink their assumptions. Her latest offering is a powerfully moving story of womanhood, motherhood, race and redemption.”–Ms. Magazine
“Sadeqa Johnson is expert at excavating the parts of the past that we would rather not confront. She dusts off these harrowing histories, shines them up, and gives them their proper glory. She mines this terrain with soaring grace, shining intellect, and a love that resonates on every page.
Thanks to Johnson’s enviable ability to craft narratives that not only educate and elucidate, but also enamor, the stories of Ruby and Eleanor, and the Ancestors and Elders they represent, will remain with me always.
The House of Eve is a powerful witnessing, an indispensable testimony, and a remarkable addition to Johnson’s already stunning bibliography.” —ROBERT JONES, JR., author of The New York Times bestselling novel, The Prophets
“A luminous, moving read.”–Kate Quinn, author of The Diamond Eye
“The House of Eve is a gorgeous, timely novel about the price that women pay for love. Eleanor and Ruby must choose between passion and safety, studies or motherhood, and painful situations or convenient lies. I ached for this book’s characters and savored this brilliant, deeply-researched novel about courage, coverups, and choices that no one should have to make.”—JANET SKESLIEN CHARLES, author of New York Times bestseller The Paris Library
“Sadeqa Johnson has a unique talent for shining light on lesser-known chapters of American history and bringing them fully, vibrantly to life. In The House of Eve, she paints a vivid world of circumstance, sacrifice, and longing, set just before the dawn of rock’n’roll in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
With pitch-perfect dialogue, intricately researched details, and a tender exploration of the hearts of two women facing life-altering decisions, The House of Eve is an unforgettable tale of motherhood, ambition, the perils of prejudice, and the heartache of forbidden love.”—KRISTIN HARMEL, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“Full of immense heart, The House of Eve is a profound exploration of what it means to be a woman and mother in a world that can’t and won’t support you. This is a novel born of Johnson’s family history, a remarkable story re-imagined with grace, truth and powerful love.
With the true and fascinating history of women who changed the world amid prejudice, shame and forbidden love, Johnson has gifted us with an enthralling novel that will leave an indelible imprint on our hearts and minds. I loved this book.”—PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
“I don’t know where to begin with the brilliantly written House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson. There were so many twists and turns, so many heart palpitating moments—I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. House of Eve is one of those novels that will stay with you long after you read the last page.”—VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, New York Times bestselling author of The Personal Librarian
This was a very compelling read about two women from different stations in life who both have to deal with issues involving pregnancy. But it was a time when women just didn’t discuss such things – either with their husbands or really with each other. Especially in the upper classes. Or so some were told.
Ruby is trying hard to rise out of a very hard family situation through education. She knows the only way to improve her life is to use her smarts. But she is thwarted along the way but still she perseveres.
Eleanor is attending the prestigious Howard University and there she meets the man she will marry. But all is not sunshine and roses because his family holds prejudices she cannot overcome. But will the arrival of a baby help?
It was a difficult time, especially for women and Ruby and Eleanor are on a path that they never could have imagined. Will their futures bring them all they could hope for?
This was a very engrossing and hard to put down novel. I found myself turning the pages and then not wanting the story to end. These two women and their stories were just so compelling and while heart rending there was also a lot of love and hope within.