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The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran
  

The Wives of Henry Oades

Historical Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   Reading Groups   eBook Favourites   
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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

Based on a true story this debut is riveting from the start. A historical novel but written in a very modern voice and as funny as it is sad. You find your loyalties torn between the characters, with sympathy for each of them and the situation fate has put them in. It’s one of the books you want to race through to see how it all turns out in the end. A great page turner quite unique in its style, pure entertainment.

If you like Johanna Moran you might also like to read books by Ellen Horan and David Edershoff.

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Synopsis

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran

In 1899 Henry Oades discovers he has two wives -- and many dilemmas! In 1890, Henry Oades decided to undertake the arduous sea voyage from England to New Zealand in order to further his family's fortunes. Here they settled on the lush but wild coast -- although it wasn't long before disaster struck in the most unexpected of ways. A local Maori tribe, incensed at their treatment at the hands of the settlers, kidnapped Mrs Oades and her four children, and vanished into the rugged hills surrounding the town. Henry searched ceaselessly for his family, but two grief-stricken years later was forced to conclude that they must be dead. In despair he shipped out to San Francisco to start over, eventually falling in love with and marrying a young widow. In the meantime, Margaret Oades and her children were leading a miserable existence, enslaved to the local tribe. When they contracted smallpox they were cast out and, ill and footsore, made their way back to town, five years after they were presumed dead. Discovering that Henry was now half a world away, they were determined to rejoin him. So months later they arrived on his doorstep in America and Henry Oades discovered that he had two wives and many dilemmas! This is a darkly comic but moving historical fiction debut about love and family, based on a controversial newspaper account from the early 1900s.

Reviews

'Irresistible!as comical as it is poignant.'
Daily Mail

'Johanna Moran's fine first novel is a fascinating story!Moran is a careful writer, a spare stylist who never wastes a word. She also has a well-tuned ear for the jargon of the period, colorful language that adds warmth, humor, and humanity to her story.'
Boston Globe

'Moran's opening chapters intrigue and mesmerize!In her evocative descriptions of sadness and relief, Moran successfully captures this family's particular tribulations.'
Glasgow Herald

'A beguiling, promising debut. Serious, sometimes horrific developments are lightened by touches of understated, salty wit in Moran's fact-based historical, a fresh and unusual story.'
Kirkus Reviews

'Intriguing and evocative! It's Margaret surviving the wilderness, Nancy overcoming grief and the two women bonding that give this book its heart and should make this a book group winner.'
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Johanna Moran

Johanna Moran comes from a long line of writers and lawyers. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband, John. She has travelled extensively, working as a Pan Am stewardess, and has visited all the places mentioned in this book. She first came across this story through her father, a professor of law. The Wives of Henry Oades is her first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd February 2011

Author

Johanna Moran

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Author's Website

johannamoran.com
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Publisher

HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback

Categories

Historical Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites


ISBN

9780007339273

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