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The House of Eve

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About The Book

From the award-winning author of Yellow Wife, a daring and redemptive novel set in 1950s Philadelphia and Washington, DC, 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.

About The Author

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Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels, including Yellow Wife. Her accolades include the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the USA Best Book Award for Best Fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and three children. To learn more, visit SadeqaJohnson.net.

Why We Love It

The House of Eve is the perfect book club read. Its immersive setting and propulsive plot will transport readers to 1950s DC and Philadelphia, all while effortlessly tackling issues of race, colorism within the Black community, and class. It’s also an epic love story about people transcending race and class in the name of love. We also fell hard for the story behind the novel; this is a personal story for Sadeqa, whose grandmother became pregnant with Sadeqa’s mother at fourteen. This led Sadeqa to wonder: why, in all of her research on homes for unwed mothers—of which there were many in the US during this time period—had she never heard about a place for Black girls like her grandmother? Eventually, she stumbled upon the Florence Crittendon Home for Girls, which served as the basis of Ruby’s story. We love that this is a transporting historical novel grounded in deep research, and one with a personal family hook for the author.

—Carina G., Senior Editor, on The House of Eve

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 7, 2023)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668021088

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Raves and Reviews

"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 HarmelNew York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

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More books from this author: Sadeqa Johnson