Monday, March 20, 2023

The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson


Title:  The House of Eve

Author:  Sadeqa Johnson

Narrated by:  Ariel Blake and Nicole Lewis

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 27 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster Audio.  Thank you @simonandschuster #BookClubFavorites for the free books!

Do you like book covers that show faces?  I love this book cover, but it goes with the trend of having a headless person.  The other trend I notice is the back of someone walking away.  I think it's so you can imagine yourself as the character.  I like covers that show faces and also those that don’t.  I love the color of the dress on this cover.

The House of Eve is a riveting new historical fiction novel that I couldn’t put down.  I was listening to it on audiobook and I had a hard time stopping the story to do things like work, eat, or talk to my family.  The House of Eve is set in 1948 and is the story of two very women. Ruby is a fifteen year old in Philadelphia.  She is working on getting good grades and a scholarship to be the first person in her family to go to college.  It’s hard work as her single mother doesn’t care to raise her and cares more about her boyfriend of the month.  When Ruby meets Shimmy, sparks fly and she will make a decision that could potentially impact her life forever.

Eleanor is attending Howard University in Washington DC and is the pride her family from Ohio.  She has the dream of becoming an archivist at a library.  When she meets the handsome William Pride, she is instantly smitten.  William is from an elite and rich family in Washington DC.  Eleanor feels that William’s mother Rose will never accept her. Will having a baby bring her into the family more?

I really enjoyed the two different alternating narratives.  Ruby grew up in poverty with a single mother, while Eleanor had a more middle class upbringing with two parents.  They both have ambitions, and they both have to work hard for what they want.  I don’t want to ruin the story for others, but I loved the realistic challenges that the two women faced including pregnancy, racism, social pressures, body image issues, etc.

I also loved learning about the social scene of elite African Americans in Washington DC in the late 1940s.  It was new to me and so interesting.  There was also a section of the book that was disturbing showing what happened to unwed mothers who were sent to religious homes for unwed mothers.  I can’t stop thinking about this and how these mothers were treated.

Author Sadeqa Johnson previously wrote another historical fiction novel that I thought was excellent, Yellow Wife.  I LOVED that there was a connection to Yellow Wife at the end of The House of Eve.  It made me want to clap.  It was perfect.  I also read that this was a personal story for Johnson as her grandmother found herself a 14-year old unwed mother.

Ariel Blake and Nicole Lewis were great and engaging narrators.  The story was told through both Ruby and Eleanor’s point of view.  Each narrator told the story of each character and it made it so it seemed like their own personal story.  I enjoyed it.



  1. I love researching book cover designers and always wonder why they made their design choices. As far as the story is concerned, it sounds fascinating

  2. Thanks for sharing this review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.