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The House of EveTITLE: The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson
My rating:
5 of 5 stars
Release Date: February 7, 2023 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback (320 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction

1950s Philadelphia: fifteen-year-old Ruby Pearsall is on u Htrack 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.

This story just moved me so much because of the authenticity in the author’s storytelling. The characters and their journey were so compelling that I couldn’t stop reading their tale until the last page. I had to keep reminding myself that this story was set in the 1950-60’s because it was upsetting to be immersed in the plight of women, especially black women and their lack of options.

The story weaves together the lives of a high school student named Ruby and a college student named Eleanor Quarles. While their family situations differ, both women are set upon a path that differed from their own choosing when they fell in love with a man outside their own circle/social circle.

The author’s ability to elicit emotions while educating the reader in a black historical fiction reminds me of the Beverly Jenkins. The characters were so well developed that the reader quickly becomes invested in their journey. I was rooting for these strong black women to achieve their educational goal because I knew that would be the truth vehicle to their upward mobility. I cried for them and cheered for them because this felt like a win for them would be a win for my ancestors.

What a completely enthralling story and an uplifting ending. Sadeqa Johnson once again proves she is a master storyteller. This will definitely be one of my top reads in 2023.

Special Thanks to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley where I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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