In a time of #metoo, as the media highlights far too many stories of abuse, misogyny and inappropriate behaviour, it is interesting to read a book first published in 1973 and reflect that, in many ways, not much has changed. The Book of Eve is the story of Eva, a girl, a woman, a wife, a mother and a grandmother who struggles through relationships, an unhappy marriage, motherhood and then suddenly picks up and leaves it all behind.
Eva suddenly grabbed a few things in a suitcase, called a taxi and exited her home, her marriage and her family. She left a 40 year marriage and a demanding husband who had provided but had been abusive and had little respect for his wife. She found a room in a basement and made the best of it, getting by on her scanty monthly pension cheques, scavenging for items to sell and reflecting on her new freedom and her past relationships and experiences.
Her son pleaded with her to go back home, her grand-daughter was shocked to run into her and see her unkempt appearance but she was able to find a caring relationship, with a much younger man, when she least expected it.
Montreal born, Constance Beresford-Howe published 10 novels including two more in the Voices of Eve series. She died at age 93 in January 2016 and this article by the Globe and Mail shares more interesting details of her life and works. She was reported to have had a happy marriage and sadly, her husband died two weeks after her death.
This is a great book, a quick read and makes a reader reflect. It is a book that leaves me pondering and grateful that I am lucky that I don’t need to say #metoo. It leaves me thinking that the PhD educated author was ahead of her time and a strong advocate for women. I will be keeping my eyes out for more of her books!