Book Review: The Eve Tree

I’ve been reading Rachel Ford’s blog Journey Mama for years, ever since I began blogging myself.  She first drew me in because of her lovely honest writing and her interesting life.  She lived in the California redwoods back then.  Now she lives in India with her husband and children, which I find even more interesting.  Recently she’s been writing a novel, no small feat since she and her husband have three young children.

When Rae asked if I would write a review of her novel The Eve Tree I agreed happily.  After all, I’ve loved her blog for years– I consider her a friend. But hand in hand with that eagerness there was also a bit of concern.  I don’t read a lot of fiction these days due to my busy life.  What if I had a hard time getting into the book?

I shouldn’t have worried.  I found the characters in this book believable and intriguing.  There were lots of ‘yes!’ moments,  where she perfectly captured an emotion or an experience I’ve had myself.  And just the experience of reading fiction again was a delight to me. There was an element of escapism, yes– something I love about fiction.  But also it was a chance to turn over experiences of my own, to hold them up against the descriptions of the characters in the book, and in the process gain a bit more insight into what it means to be an imperfect human, to struggle with challenge, to love and be well loved.

I very much enjoyed The Eve Tree and I am delighted to say that along with the copy she gave for me to read, Rae has also provided a copy to give away to one of you.  If you would like a chance to win a copy, please comment below and tell me briefly about a recent book you’ve read!   I’ll select a winner early next week!


  1. I just read Two Kisses for Maddy- a memoir of a young father whose wife dies one day after giving birth to their first child. I gained a reminder to choose to make the best out of what life gives you!

  2. Reread The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It’s a classic. She’s one of my all-time heros.

    • Melanie says:

      I just reread it too. We visited the ten Boom house in Haarlem last week — what a tremendous witness it is! The volunteer tour guides tell the story without any watering down, and the tour through the house and right into the hiding place is fascinating. It was a moving experience and if you’re ever in Holland I highly recommend it.

  3. I’ve been reading her blog for years too! I’m really excited about reading her book!

    I love to read but can’t even remember the last fiction book I read… it’s been a month or two. The last non-fiction book I read was about the Scott Peterson case, written by his half sister.

  4. Reading “The Help” right now. Very good book.

    • Read this for book club. Everyone loved it and especially insightful because some of the people in the group remember having ‘help’ when they were younger in their own homes.

  5. Pick me!

    I’m reading “Sparrow”, a young adult novel. Also “Ministry of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson.

  6. I am reading “The Cry of the Icemark”. Not sure what I think of it yet.

  7. I recently read The Kitchen Daughter. So very interesting and inspiring. I won’t spoil it, for those who have not read it. But I promise, for most of you, it is a perspective you probably have not seen before.

  8. Krystal says:

    In The Green Kitchen by Alice Waters. Kind of a cooking, kitchen technique, cook book. With a lot of ideas about where food should come from, how it should be grown and what should be eaten. I really enjoyed it. It’s got a lot of basic info. and even the seasoned cook will learn something new. I ended up making the chicken stock out of it and it was to die for! I got it out of the library, so it might be in quite a few others.

  9. katherine says:

    oooo! sounds interesting!

    i finished “adopted for life” yesterday. have you read it? i seriously think every christian family should check it out. we think we might adopt at some point in the future (the time isn’t right for the present) and it was so very encouraging.

  10. I have been reading lots of school curriculum catalogs lately! I would love to read a great book though. Please enter me!

    • Krystal says:

      Haha! I almost wrote teacher’s manuals but remembered at the last second that I had read a cookbook.

  11. Melissa says:

    I’m also not much of a fiction reader so I’m glad for a reccomendation…also so excited to find her blog as we are temporarily in the US (on our way back to India…near Nepal also). Anyway, I recently read The End of American Overeating. An interesting read on what the food industry has done to food (or what used to be food) in America.

  12. I just read The Castaway Kid- a very emotional read.

  13. Tom Davis (well, God actually) just broke my heart with “Priceless”

  14. girlsmama says:

    Reading through my 5th grader’s summer reading challenge list (12 novels!) with her. Just finished “Hattie Big Sky.” Excellent!

  15. Most recently was Karen Kingsbury’s “Learning”. Right now I’m in Andy Stanley’s “Communicating for Change”

  16. I just read Bloodroot by Amy Greene. Right now I’m working on a Focus on the Family book: Losing Control & Liking it. by Tim Sanford.

  17. I just finished reading Joni Erickson-Tada a LIfetime of Wisdom and before that it was Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman…

  18. Just read Left To Tell by Immacule Ilibagiza and her true story of believing in God through the Rwandan holocaust. This book was read for my own pleasure.
    Am now reading for myself The Girl in the Picture: The Story of Kim Phuc, Whose Image Altered the Course of the Vietnam War by Denise Chong
    Just starting American Chica, Two Worlds One Childhood by Marie Anara which I am reading for consideration for tenth grade reading group.
    And reading Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Byra for next year’s seventh grade reading group.
    And reading Elaine’s Circle by Bob Katz the true story of one teacher’s innovative answer for teaching a terminally-ill child in her classroom for next year’s seventh grade reading group.
    I try to read three or four books at a time. Because I need to take notes and jot down questions for the reading groups will depend on my mood as to which one I want to read. Sometimes the ones I read for pleasure, I will suggest for use in the reading group. So many books out there!!!

  19. Just finished reading the first four books of Game of Thrones.


  20. Karen P says:

    I am reading “The Help” right now and totally enjoying it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. I can’t even remember the last book I’ve read. Sad, huh? I have been on the hunt for a really really really good one lately and this one sounds like it might fit the bill. 🙂

  22. I read “Lady of Milkweed Manor” by Julie Klassen. It was one of those books you just can’t put down. I love a good book to read!

  23. Yours! I downloaded A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family on Kindle a few weeks ago. Then I realized that you were the same woman from one of the Chicken Soup Books that I had read many years ago. Always loved that story about the fingerprints. 🙂
    And I read Made to Crave recently and am making my way through Wild at Heart even though it’s really for guys.
    But I would love to win a good fiction book!

    • I think every woman should read Wild at Heart!!! It gives us such a good perspective on our husbands AND on any male children God gives us to raise!

  24. Savannah Hubbard says:

    Am finishing reading aloud the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, “The Last Battle” with my 11 yr. old son. We have thoroughly enjoyed each book and I absolutely love it when he says,”Just one more chapter Mom, one more!” You know that makes me smile.

  25. The last fiction book I read was Room, which I really enjoyed. Currently, I am reading Managers of their Chores and feeling very inspired!

  26. My reading seems to be mostly non-fiction right now. I’d really like to read a good fiction book.

  27. Andrea B. says:

    Reading “Made to Crave” right now and really enjoying it. Almost done though, so a nice piece of fiction would be great!

  28. Mikaila says:

    I recently read the Duggar family’s first book and I was so inspired by it! I took away a lot of helpful insight on raising children – especially geared towards their hearts and character. I loved it!

  29. I am more of a fiction person, but I am currently reading Raising Happiness.

  30. I’d love to read this book – I’m a long-time fan of Rae’s blog. It’s been awhile since I’ve found a decent fiction book that I was interested in reading… maybe since “The Help” which I totally enjoyed. Right now I spend time reading to my 3.5yo granddaughter, which I also totally enjoy. 🙂 Thanks for the op to win the book.
    cokelush at gmail

  31. I havr recently read the moving book entitled “Little Bee” here in the states and “The Other Hand” in the UK. As the proud mother of a little Nigerian lightening-rod, I found the suffering and consequential wisdom of Little Bee at such a young age both striking and disturbing, while the beauty of commitment and sacrifice was another facet of this gem I thoroughly enjoyed.

  32. I’m a mom of four with #5 on the way, and I’m in the last week of classes to complete my degree. All the reading I’ve done lately has been mainly academic instead of fun — unless you count reading Cookie Monster counting books at baby bedtime as fun. For a Sociology of Religion class I’m in right now, I read The Future of Faith by Harvey Cox. The writer is a Christian, so I feel some comfort even reading about the controversial topics he addresses. Regardless of how informative his text is, I am ANXIOUS to get to a place (one week!) where I can read purely for enjoyment. This book would be a great kick-off. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. Just finished “the Apothecary’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen. I’m a sucker for anything set in the 1800’s in England, so this was a wonderful book for me. Also plugging through “12 Keys to Effective Discipline” by Ronald Morrish; it’s chock-full of practical wisdom for raising kids. Love it!

  34. Right now I’m reading a book called ‘Hallelujah’, a novel about the writing of Handel’s orotorio, Messiah.

  35. I’m just re-read “Anne of Green Gables” for the umpteenth time. Do I need to say more? It NEVER gets old!

  36. I just finished (again) “Crazy Love” by David Martin. Older book but highly recommend to anyone who loves animals and a great love story.

  37. Michele says:

    I always have several different books going on at the same time. Right now I am reading some technical reading of some SQL books for my work, and The Taming of the Shrew (next years Sonlight Core 200 for school – I always try and read them all during the summer) and for fun The Silent Governess. Would love another book to add to my nightstand!

  38. Fiction, I just finished “The Centurion’s Wife” by Janette Oke. Really enjoyed it and the different perspectives it gave me of a Biblical event. Favorite non-fiction I’ve finished recently? “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo! Amazing, wonderful, healing, and truly delightful book that I believe every mother should read, especially those that have ever lost a child through miscarriage as I have. It was God-sent!

  39. I just read another review of this book quite randomly and now here is yours. I haven’t read much fiction lately. I used to be an avid reader of it, but lately my crazy life finds me desiring some more spiritual works. I am always looking for good fiction though. I have recently read Sober Intoxication of the Spirit by Raniero Cantalamessa and I am reading his Contemplating the Trinity right now. I am also reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Yikes! That makes me nervous about the food I am feeding my kids even the “so-called” healthy stuff.

  40. I have been reading the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. I am currently on book 6. It is such a nice break when I am able to escape to Mitford and read about the lives of the people.

  41. KristenW says:

    Recently I read Sundays at Tiffany’s. I had watched about 10 minutes of the Lifetime movie but when I realized it was a James Patterson book I turned it off and got the book. The book is always better than the movie! Since then, I watched the movie also and it’s not as good as the book…the movies never are!

  42. Elizabeth says:

    I just finished reading aloud the fourth book of the Sarah Plain and Tall series to my children, and for myself, I am currently reading your frugal grocery shopping book; Ann Voskamp’s’ 1,000 gifts and Dr. Dobson’s The Strong-Willed child.
    Thank you!!

  43. Lisa Beth W. says:

    I just finished reading Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman, about she and her family’s experiences surrounding the death of their daughter Maria. Includes some of her spiritual journey since childhood. Good book!

  44. I just finished “The Goodbye Quilt” by Susan Wiggs.
    Very quick, light read about driving her daughter off to college. Touched on a lot of emotions for me about my own child and our relationship.
    Morris, MN

  45. Linda Jo says:

    I just finished our July book club selection “The goodbye quilt” and loved it; a must-read for anyone with kids heading off to college (and get those tissues ready). Happy reading!