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.

Miscarriage, pregnancy, infertility, sexual harassment.

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.

Don't just take our word for it...

“The House of Eve is a luminous, moving read! Sadeqa Johnson deftly contrasts two historical heroines to great effect: high school student Ruby, smart as a whip and hoping to be the first woman of her family to attend college, and country girl Eleanor, struggling to meet the high social standards of her wealthy Black in-laws. Their lives entwine in startling ways as they are faced with hard choices about their respective futures.”
– Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye

“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

“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

Taste the very first page

Philadelphia, October 1948

My grandma Nene always said that early was on time, on time was late, and late was unacceptable. Fatty was unacceptably late again. Knowing full well that I had some place important to be. I didn’t mind staying with Grandma Nene overnight once a week so that Fatty could clean offices. All I asked was that she be home in time for me to catch the bus to my Saturday enrichment classes. And for the third week in a row, Fatty dragged her heavy feet through Nene’s apartment door fifteen minutes behind schedule, calling out in her high-pitched voice, “Ruby girl, I’m sorry. Let me tell you what happened.”

My cousin had more excuses than a hoe going to jail, and I didn’t have time to entertain her colorful tales this morning. I had one hour to get all the way down to South Philly, and I twisted up my lips in a way that I hoped conveyed how annoyed I was over her lack of consideration…