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The Wives of Henry Oades: A Novel
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2010
Status:
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Description
When Henry Oades accepts an accountancy post in New Zealand, his wife, Margaret, and their children follow him to exotic Wellington. But while Henry is an adventurer, Margaret is not. Their new home is rougher and more rustic than they expected—and a single night of tragedy shatters the family when the native Maori stage an uprising, kidnapping Margaret and her children. For months, Henry scours the surrounding wilderness, until all hope is lost and his wife and children are presumed dead. Grief-stricken, he books passage to California. There he marries Nancy Foreland, a young widow with a new baby, and it seems they've both found happiness in the midst of their mourning—until Henry's first wife and children show up, alive and having finally escaped captivity. Narrated primarily by the two wives, and based on a real-life legal case, The Wives of Henry Oades is the riveting story of what happens when Henry, Margaret, and Nancy face persecution for bigamy. Exploring the intricacies of marriage, the construction of family, the changing world of the late 1800s, and the strength of two remarkable women, Johanna Moran turns this unusual family's story into an unforgettable page-turning drama.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/09/2010
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780345519016
ASIN:
B0036CTOLA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Johanna Moran. (2010). The Wives of Henry Oades: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Johanna Moran. 2010. The Wives of Henry Oades: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Johanna Moran, The Wives of Henry Oades: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2010.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Johanna Moran. The Wives of Henry Oades: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2010. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:47:35
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:41:38
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Apr 04, 2021 07:35:50
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      • value: historic fiction
      • value: family
      • value: relationships
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      • value: Historical
      • value: family life
      • value: Sagas
      • value: historical novel
      • value: San Francisco
      • value: kidnapping
      • value: Fiction
      • value: 19th Century
      • value: novels
      • value: California
      • value: Saga
      • value: marriage
      • value: Historical Fiction
      • value: Genre Fiction
      • value: Drama
      • value: grief
      • value: New Zealand
      • value: Bigamy
      • value: historical novels
      • value: historical fiction book
      • value: historical fiction novel
      • value: family life novel
      • value: literary historical fiction
      • value: 19th century setting
      • value: historical books
      • value: historical fiction novels
      • value: historical fiction books
      • value: historical book
      • value: historical fiction saga
      • value: historical fiction sagas
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Moran, Johanna
      • bioText: Johanna Moran comes from a long line of writers and lawyers. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her husband, John. The Wives of Henry Oades is her first novel.

      • name: Johanna Moran
imprint
Ballantine Books
publishDate
2010-02-09T00:00:00-05:00
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
The Wives of Henry Oades
fullDescription
When Henry Oades accepts an accountancy post in New Zealand, his wife, Margaret, and their children follow him to exotic Wellington. But while Henry is an adventurer, Margaret is not. Their new home is rougher and more rustic than they expected—and a single night of tragedy shatters the family when the native Maori stage an uprising, kidnapping Margaret and her children.
For months, Henry scours the surrounding wilderness, until all hope is lost and his wife and children are presumed dead. Grief-stricken, he books passage to California. There he marries Nancy Foreland, a young widow with a new baby, and it seems they've both found happiness in the midst of their mourning—until Henry's first wife and children show up, alive and having finally escaped captivity.
Narrated primarily by the two wives, and based on a real-life legal case, The Wives of Henry Oades is the riveting story of what happens when Henry, Margaret, and Nancy face persecution for bigamy. Exploring the intricacies of marriage, the construction of family, the changing world of the late 1800s, and the strength of two remarkable women, Johanna Moran turns this unusual family's story into an unforgettable page-turning drama.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
      • content: "A stellar debut novel . . . A historical saga seen through the lens of two wives, one husband, and the disapproving, cantankerous rabble at the end of Victorian America."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: St. Petersburg Times
      • content: "Moran focuses her satisfying, briskly paced novel on Henry's two wives. Their experiences and attitudes are very different, yet their love for their children and their shared husband brings them to an unusual and courageous alliance."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Told mainly from the wives' perspectives, the story hinges on readers' empathy with their unusual predicament....Moran's debut...will intrigue historical fiction fans and provide plenty of discussion points for book clubs."
      • premium: False
      • source: Herald-Tribune, Sarasota
      • content: "Takes the bare outline of the legal case against Henry Oades and spins it into a heartbreaking story of the two women who love him."
      • premium: False
      • source: Romantic Times, Top Pick!
      • content: "Moran's debut is simply wonderful. She is firmly at home writing suspense-filled scenes, whether they take place among Maori captives or in a California courthouse. She also writes convincingly about the close friendships between women. The bond between women forms the core of this novel--a page-turner that readers will mourn finishing."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 26, 2009
        An English accountant and his two wives are the subject of this intriguing and evocative debut novel based on a real-life 19th-century California bigamy case. A loving husband and attentive father, Henry Oades assures his wife, Margaret, that his posting to New Zealand will be temporary and the family makes the difficult journey. But during a Maori uprising, Margaret and her four children are kidnapped and the Oades's house is torched. Convinced his family is dead, Henry relocates to California and marries Nancy, a sad 20-year-old pregnant widow. When Margaret and the children escape, eventually making their way to California and Henry's doorstep, he does the decent thing by being a husband to both wives and father to all their offspring, a situation deemed indecent by the Berkeley Daughters of Decency. Moran presents Henry's story as if making a case in court, facts methodically revealed with just enough detail for the reader to form an independent opinion. But it's Margaret surviving the wilderness, Nancy overcoming grief and the two women bonding that give the book its heart and should make this a book group winner.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2009
        Two women discover they're both rightfully married to the same man.

        Serious, sometimes horrific developments are lightened by touches of understated, salty wit in Moran's fact-based historical, a fresh and unusual story that moves from New Zealand to California in the 1890s. British accountant Henry Oades, his wife Margaret and their two children leave England for a temporary posting in New Zealand, where Margaret gives birth to twins. Their domestic contentment is suddenly shattered when a band of Maori, in a revenge attack, burn down their home and abduct Margaret and the children. The distraught Henry plans pursuit but hurts himself badly in a fall. After a slow recovery he must accept the fact that his children cannot be traced and the bones found in the house's ashes were Margaret's (though readers already know they were not). Moving to America, he becomes a dairy farmer and six years after the catastrophe marries widowed Nancy Foreland. But Margaret has survived, as have all but one of the children. Freed from years of slavery, they make their way home and then to California, where they reunite with the surprised Henry and Nancy. Two wives and one husband living under the same roof attract the wrath of the Daughters of Decency; harassment follows, then a series of trials, but the curious family emerges even stronger.

        A beguiling, promising debut, combining clipped narration and capable technique with tender appreciation for the female characters in particular.

        (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 15, 2009
        When Henry Oades is posted to New Zealand in 1890, he considers the move a chance for adventure. Content with life in London, Margaret reluctantly accompanies him with their children. When their isolated cottage is attacked by the Maori, Margaret and the children are abducted and presumed dead. Fleeing from his memories, Henry resettles in California, where he marries Nancy, a young widow with a baby. Six years later, Margaret and her children, having finally escaped captivity, arrive at Henry's Berkeley farm. Weathering threats, harassment, and lawsuits, Nancy and Margaret slowly develop a supportive relationship that enables their blended family to survive. VERDICT Told mainly from the wives' perspectives, the story hinges on readers' empathy with their unusual predicament. Other characters are somewhat flat. Even unflappable Henry remains a bit of an enigma. Still, Moran's debut, based on the true case of Henry Oades, acquitted of bigamy three times, will intrigue historical fiction fans and provide plenty of discussion points for book clubs.Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato

        Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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shortDescription
When Henry Oades accepts an accountancy post in New Zealand, his wife, Margaret, and their children follow him to exotic Wellington. But while Henry is an adventurer, Margaret is not. Their new home is rougher and more rustic than they expected—and a single night of tragedy shatters the family when the native Maori stage an uprising, kidnapping Margaret and her children.
For months, Henry scours the surrounding wilderness, until all hope is lost and his wife and children are presumed dead. Grief-stricken, he books passage to California. There he marries Nancy Foreland, a young widow with a new baby, and it seems they've both found happiness in the midst of their mourning—until Henry's first wife and children show up, alive and having finally escaped captivity.
Narrated primarily by the two wives, and based on a real-life legal case, The Wives of Henry Oades is the riveting story of what happens when Henry, Margaret, and Nancy face persecution for bigamy....
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awards
      • source: Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
      • value: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee - Best Book
subtitle
A Novel
publisher
Random House Publishing Group