A blend of mystery and supernatural elements bolster the message of this feminist novel.
Witchcraft and women’s history propel this paranormal fantasy into a precarious realm of superstition and sexist perceptions. The Mark on Eve, by Joel Fox, educates subtly, discussing gender rights issues by incorporating them into a vibrant storyline.
A jealous sorcerer curses an intelligent woman to eternal life on earth until she kisses the lips of her former flame, a pirate who drowned with his ship in 1717 off the coast of Cape Cod. Eve does not age, does not die, and does not want anyone to know her secret. She saves the life of a female presidential candidate by stepping in the path of a bullet, which triggers an onslaught of media attention. Eve has stayed on the move, changing her name and profession as the years have passed—an effective technique until a reporter digs into her past … one that is centuries old.
Sounds like a plot suited to a Hollywood set. The opportunities for special effects would be endless, but Fox has a serious message behind the stereotypical smoking cauldron: get with the twenty-first century. Powerful women often intimidate men, perhaps even other women, who have been indoctrinated to believe that a woman’s nurturing and caregiving roles are within her domain exclusively and must be maintained in a stable society. An educated go-getter defying these expectations may be portrayed as criminal, wicked, and incapable of compassion. In short, she is a witch.
The old-fashioned definition of a “lady” rears its unladylike head in professional and personal affairs, a fact that Joel Fox, an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, has played for dramatic impact. His background in California politics informs his work, lending authenticity to his scenes. His political-opinion pieces have appeared in state and national publications.
At a glance, The Mark on Eve looks like kid stuff, but on closer inspection, a sarcastic lesson takes shape, one that will make the entertainment seeker laugh and the critical analyst interpret between the lines. As the United States approaches a presidential election in 2016, this timely book sparks interest and debate. Is our country ready for a woman in the Oval Office?
Julia Ann Charpentier
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.