Holiday Sale! Save 20% on a BookBrowse membership - for yourself or to give as a gift.

Reviews of Eve by Cat Bohannon

Eve

How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution

by Cat Bohannon

Eve by Cat Bohannon X
Eve by Cat Bohannon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Oct 2023, 624 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jo-Anne Blanco
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

The real origin of our species: a myth-busting, eye-opening landmark account of how humans evolved, offering a paradigm shift in our thinking about what the female body is, how it came to be, and how this evolution still shapes all our lives today

How did the female body drive 200 million years of human evolution? • Why do women live longer than men? • Why are women more likely to get Alzheimer's? • Why do girls score better at every academic subject than boys until puberty, when suddenly their scores plummet? • Is sexism useful for evolution? • And why, seriously why, do women have to sweat through our sheets every night when we hit menopause?

These questions are producing some truly exciting science – and in Eve, with boundless curiosity and sharp wit, Cat Bohannon covers the past 200 million years to explain the specific science behind the development of the female sex: "We need a kind of user's manual for the female mammal. A no-nonsense, hard-hitting, seriously researched (but readable) account of what we are. How female bodies evolved, how they work, what it really means to biologically be a woman. Something that would rewrite the story of womanhood. This book is that story. We have to put the female body in the picture. If we don't, it's not just feminism that's compromised. Modern medicine, neurobiology, paleoanthropology, even evolutionary biology all take a hit when we ignore the fact that half of us have breasts. So it's time we talk about breasts. Breasts, and blood, and fat, and vaginas, and wombs—all of it. How they came to be and how we live with them now, no matter how weird or hilarious the truth is."

Eve is not only a sweeping revision of human history, it's an urgent and necessary corrective for a world that has focused primarily on the male body for far too long. Picking up where Sapiens left off, Eve will completely change what you think you know about evolution and why Homo sapiens has become such a successful and dominant species.

CHAPTER 1

MILK

No sooner had the notion of the Flood subsided,
Than a hare paused amid the clover and trembling bellflowers and
said its prayer to the rainbow through the spider's web...
Blood flowed in Bluebeard's house— in the slaughterhouses— in the circuses, where God's seal made the windows blanch.
Blood and milk flowed together.

— Arthur Rimbaud, "After the Flood"


Got Milk?

— Ad campaign for the California Milk Processor Board, 1993

There in the soft grass, in the wet crush of evening, she was waiting: furred body shirred with drops of rain, no bigger than a human thumb.

We call her Morgie. Little hunter. One of the first Eves.

She waited at the mouth of her burrow because the sky was still pale—streaky threads of photons refracting through clouds, the deepening blue beyond. She waited because her cells told her to, all the little clocks in her clockwork, and her eyes, and her whiskers twitching in the air, and the ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. In her introduction, Cat Bohannon quotes Susan Sontag, who wrote in her essay for Annie Leibovitz's book Women, "any large-scale picturing of women belongs to the ongoing story of how women are presented, and how they are invited to think of themselves. [As such, it raises] the question of women—there is no equivalent 'question of men.' Men, unlike women, are not a work in progress." Talk about the way that quote makes you feel. Do you think it rings true in your own life? In the lives of the women you know?
  2. Bohannon grounds each chapter with an Eve, an evolutionary great-great-grandmother from whom we have all evolved. How did that organizational method feel to you as the reader? Was it helpful to get to know the various animals ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

A vast, meticulously researched, and often entertaining work encompassing an enormous amount of information, Eve takes the reader on an epic journey through the history and evolution of humanity, focusing specifically on the development of the female sex. Amongst the comprehensively researched facts and brilliant explanatory examples, the author occasionally adopts a colloquial style that readers will find amusing, but perhaps a little jarring at times. Bohannon's wit and humor prove nonetheless effective, creating an enjoyable and enlightening read as opposed to a dry academic treatise. She demonstrates eloquent storytelling skills when evoking different eras and conditions in which our ancestral Eves lived...continued

Full Review Members Only (813 words)

(Reviewed by Jo-Anne Blanco).

Media Reviews

New York Times
Publishers Weekly The high-velocity, high-impact Eve, part owner's manual for the female body…part sweeping saga of mammalian history; and part clapback against the tendency of much evolutionary thought to place men, and their furry mancestors, at the center of the action...Bohannon has a poet's voice…and a reporter's eye. Eve is an endless source of dinner-party trivia, much of it inappropriate for actual dinner parties...Eve also suggests a new way of thinking about one's body: as a thing of time, built on a foundation developed over millions of years...Powerful...A love letter to the ancient, creaking wonder that is evolution.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A capacious investigation of women throughout time....Bohannon...creates a jaunty, digressive, and often whimsical tale examining the origins of some defining features of womanhood....Fascinating...Prodigious research informs a spirited history of humanity.

Publishers Weekly
Bohannon offers a bracing corrective to male-centric evolutionary accounts. She balances scientific rigor with entertaining prose....It's an illuminating and fresh take on how human evolution unfolded.

Author Blurb Bonnie Garmus, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Lessons in Chemistry
A smart, funny, scientific deep-dive into the power of a woman's body, Eve surprises, educates, and emboldens. Who runs the world? Girls!

Author Blurb Hope Jahren, best-selling author of Lab Girl and Story of More
Eve was immeasurably useful to me in my life-long quest to understand my own body. I highly recommend it to anyone who is on the same journey.

Author Blurb Neil Shubin, University of Chicago biologist and author of Your Inner Fish
For over a century and a half since Darwin, we have talked about the origin of man. But what about women? Marshaling considerable wit, scholarship, and cutting edge science Cat Bohannon traces the history and importance of female biology and, in the process, gives us a refreshing new view on the origin of humanity.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

A World Not Built for Women: Gender Bias in Medicine & Science

In March 2019, NASA was due to launch the first all-women spacewalk from the International Space Station. It was to be a milestone in space exploration. Astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain were to walk outside the ISS to replace lithium-ion batteries; Mary Lawrence and Kristen Facciol were to be lead flight director and lead spacewalk flight controller, respectively, from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

However, the history-making spacewalk was canceled due to an oversight no one had bothered to consider: there was only one spacesuit available that was a suitable size and, more importantly, was safe for a woman to wear. McClain had discovered during an earlier spacewalk that a medium-sized hard upper torso (the "shirt" of ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Eve, try these:

  • The Exceptions jacket

    The Exceptions

    by Kate Zernike

    Published 2024

    About this book

    From the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who broke the story, the inspiring account of the sixteen female scientists who forced MIT to publicly admit it had been discriminating against its female faculty for years—sparking a nationwide reckoning with the pervasive sexism in science.

  • Bitch jacket

    Bitch

    by Lucy Cooke

    Published 2023

    About this book

    A fierce, funny, and revolutionary look at the queens of the animal kingdom.

We have 4 read-alikes for Eve, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Holiday Sale!

Discover exceptional books
for just $3/month.

Find out more


Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: The Covenant of Water
    The Covenant of Water
    by Abraham Verghese
    BookBrowse Fiction Award 2023

    Along the Malabar Coast of South India in 1900, a 12-year-old girl ...
  • Book Jacket: In Memoriam
    In Memoriam
    by Alice Winn
    BookBrowse Debut Book Award 2023

    Alice Winn's remarkable debut, In Memoriam, opens in 1914 at ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wager
    The Wager
    by David Grann
    BookBrowse Nonfiction Award 2023

    David Grann is a journalist, a staff writer for The New Yorker and...
  • Book Jacket: Remember Us
    Remember Us
    by Jacqueline Woodson
    BookBrowse YA Book Award 2023

    Remember Us is set largely across a single hazy summer of the 1970s in...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Julia
by Sandra Newman
From critically acclaimed novelist Sandra Newman, a brilliantly relevant retelling of Orwell's 1984 from the point of Smith's lover, Julia.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Alfie and Me
    by Carl Safina

    A moving account of raising, then freeing, an orphaned screech owl. Three starred reviews!

  • Book Jacket

    This Is Salvaged
    by Vauhini Vara

    Stories of uncanny originality from Vauhini Vara, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.

Who Said...

It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.