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The Book of Eve (The Voices of Eve #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
First published in 1973, The Book of Eve has become a classic. When Eva Carroll walks out on her husband of 40 years, it is an unplanned, completely spontaneous gesture. Yet Eva feels neither guilt nor remorse. Instead, she feels rejuvenated and blissfully free. As she builds a new life for herself in a boarding house on the "wrong" side of Montreal, she finds happiness an ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 191 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by McClelland & Stewart (first published January 1st 1974)
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Apr 17, 2012 Jean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is an amazing little book with a very large story about a woman, Eve, who walks out on her husband after 40 years of marriage. She has not had a quarrel, nor an upset, she simply sets down is breakfast tray (he is somewhat of an invalid) and walks out the front door with one suitcase and very little money. She finds a room on the wrong side of Montreal in a boarding house and begins a new life journey without an ounce of regret or the least want to return to her old life.
I especially loved
Kathleen Winter
Feb 05, 2009 Kathleen Winter rated it it was amazing
Spare language, irony, bare bones and poignant wisdom: this story of a woman who flees her comatose suburban marriage the day she gets her first pension cheque is one of literature's finest moments. Set in Montreal. I am trying to find the author's whereabouts because I want to send her a letter. Anyone here know where I can reach her?
Hilary G
Ex-Bookworm group review.

The most interesting thing about this book was that Ray chose it. It seems at first glance to be such a "woman's book", though I ended up thinking it was a "human book". All credit to Ray for having the guts to recommend a book many men might not admit to having read (even if they had). The Book of Eve reminded me quite a lot of "The L-Shaped Room" . I saw similarities between the two stories of women who had done something to make themselves social outcasts and found fu
Mar 19, 2010 Michèle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Libertarians, lovers, everyone
(French below)

How annoying for God (not to mention Adam) after all, if Eve had just walked out of Eden without waiting to be evicted, and left behind her pangs of guilt, as it were, with her leaf apron?

The Book of Eve is another little treasure found in a garage sale around 2002. The illustration dragged me: an obviously happy and carefree older woman with a cat.

A 65 year Westmount old woman decide to walk out on a sick husband, with she had been taking care of for 40 years, feeling invisible.
Feb 09, 2010 Judy rated it liked it
The beginning of this book intrigued me. An older woman just decides to walk away from her life, including ailing husband, & does it---that very day! Set in Montreal, she has no plans, no suitcase, very little money, etc. Sometime during a city bus ride, she decides Montreal's a big enough city for her to relocate by merely living across town. She's close to being homeless, but manages to find a shoddy basement apartment to rent. From there, we're in her thoughts of idleness, no demands (the ...more
Jan 16, 2010 Sandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Loved this book. Perhaps one needs to be of "a certain age" to appreciate the courage it took for Eva to leave her comfortable, secure but emotionally abusive situation.
Linda Irvine
Aug 05, 2010 Linda Irvine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In many ways shaped a picture of who I wanted to become.
Eleanor Cowan
Jun 11, 2017 Eleanor Cowan rated it it was amazing
Much courage is required to end an unhappy marriage and to pay the cost independence exacts.
At first, Eve leaves a servile situation - but later learns that compromise can be made to welcome new happiness in her life. Eve softens into an admirable wisdom. Engaging read!
Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife: Memoir of a Canadian Teacher and Writer
Dec 31, 2013 Catherine rated it liked it
I was rooting for Eva Carroll, the novel's protagonist, hoping she would finally create the life she wanted. As I read on, however, I found myself baffled by some of her choices. The story is a poignant reminder that life and relationships are complex and messy, and that even when one gets what they want--or what they think they want--it is no guarantee of happiness.
Feb 23, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I found this book really hard to get into. I didn't have a real connection to the main character and for the most part found that she just annoyed me while reading this. I felt like this book started to get going but really went nowhere. The only parts that I can say "saved" this book where the flashback parts which had some interesting parts. I wouldn't read this unless you have to.
Aug 30, 2015 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
When I first read this book, a million years ago when divorce was shocking, the story seemed so daring, adventurous, and fun. Having just re-read it, it seems more like the story of courage born of desperation, like being a refugee. Bless you, Constance, for leading the charge out of marriages to miserable old men. I hope your book earned you enough money to get by.
Jul 23, 2011 Spanishliz rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian, novel
This book appears on my list of books read (kept quite religiously from 1982 until 2006), but I really don't remember it at all. Another reader's review just jogged my memory, and I've upped my rating.
Jul 18, 2007 Helen rated it really liked it
Loved this little book. Story of an older woman who leaves her abusive husband with only her pension for income, goes to live in a squalid basement apartment, takes dumpster diving and fixing up her finds to a new high. Finds love - but no happy ending.
It was quite an interesting book. I read it for a Canadian Literature class and would likely not have picked it up otherwise. The main character acts completely out of character and walks out on her life. Novel takes place in Montreal in the 1970's.
May 16, 2016 Joan added it
Dec 12, 2013 S rated it liked it
I don't think she is happy at the end. Nor 'in love'. Lonely yes. Loved yes.
Nov 16, 2016 Kayla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
loved this book. it was so interesting and inspiring.
Reg Wilson
Nov 12, 2016 Reg Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
An important book for to me read in my early teens, picked up randomly on a library search. I still think about it from time to time and I am happy with the mark it left.
Feb 02, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-chick-books
I read this back in the 80s, and I remember it vividly 25 years later. I have never understood why the author is not better known.
The Chicks
Jun 25, 2011 The Chicks rated it really liked it
Mary's pick
Barbara Rasmussen
Jul 13, 2014 Barbara Rasmussen rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. I read it quite a few years ago and still think of it fairly often. A wonderful journey into a glimpse of understanding.
Joanna Blair
Mar 02, 2014 Joanna Blair rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. I like the message that you can make a change at any time of your life and that both good and bad may come of it.
Elaine rated it liked it
May 07, 2013
Maja Bysterveld
Maja Bysterveld rated it liked it
Oct 06, 2015
Celia rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2014
Susan Maldrie
Susan Maldrie rated it liked it
May 11, 2012
Betsy rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2008
Shirley Trimmer
Shirley Trimmer rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2017
Jason rated it really liked it
May 11, 2012
Sarah rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2015
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Constance Beresford-Howe was born in Montreal. She received her M.A. from McGill University in 1946 and her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1950. She taught English literature and creative writing at McGill until 1969, then moved to Toronto, Ontario where she taught at Ryerson until her retirement in 1988. Her first novel, The Unreasoning Heart, was published while she was still a student.

Ms Beres
More about Constance Beresford-Howe...

Other Books in the Series

The Voices of Eve (3 books)
  • A Population Of One
  • The Marriage Bed

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