THE MARK ON EVE by Joel Fox

THE MARK ON EVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Fox’s (Lincoln’s Hand, 2013, etc.) historical drama, a woman cursed with immortality dedicates her eternal life to ensuring that a female candidate makes it into the White House.

Television producer Eve Skellar prefers not to draw attention to herself. She fears that she’d be the subject of unwanted scrutiny if people knew that she’s 300 years old, courtesy of a witch’s curse in the early 18th century. But after Eve steps in front of a bullet to save a presidential candidate, Gov. Judy Rhodes, all eyes are on her—particularly those of dogged Los Angeles Post reporter Tom Evanger. He’s fascinated by the enigmatic Eve, particularly when he finds that her history prior to her TV work doesn’t seem to exist. When his boss assigns his story on the governor to someone else, he becomes obsessed with uncovering the TV producer’s secret. As he closes in on the truth, Eve, who’s spent centuries watching men belittle women, becomes determined to help Judy win the impending election. Fox’s novel, despite its supernatural element, focuses mainly on Eve’s struggles throughout history. Immortality, in fact, turns out to be just another obstacle for her to overcome in her life; previously, she faced Redcoats coming ashore near her Cape Cod village in 1777 and a plane crash in the 1950s. The overall story remarkably blends real-life historical events with those of Eve’s own life. The Rev. Cotton Mather, for instance, makes an appearance in 1717 to accuse her of bewitching the Zarrago, a sunken ship whose late captain, the reputed pirate Marcus Nash, was the love of Eve’s long life. The steadily paced novel alternates between the present day and various points in the preceding centuries, but it racks up the suspense as it nears its end: Tom’s suspicions grow as Eve continually dodges questions and interview requests, and a Harvard history professor gets dangerously close to locating the Zarrago’s aquatic remains. Readers learn very little about Gov. Rhodes, so it may be hard for them to sympathize when a lobbyist tries to blackmail her for an affair she had a decade ago. However, she ably represents Eve’s ultimate goal. The immortal woman’s steadfastness and stoicism are admirable traits, and she retains them all the way to the wholly satisfying ending.

An intriguing novel about a woman developing her stance on women’s rights over the course of America’s history.





Pub Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2015




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