HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran
Loading...

The Wives of Henry Oades

by Johanna Moran

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3756542,758 (3.66)50
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 50 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
I picked this book up a long time ago, and was almost finished before I lost the book. If you took a look at the chaos that is my house, you'd understand. Anyway, in my house selling preparations, I found it and read it again, this time all the way through.

A beautiful (yet tragic) story written by a skilled writer. I'm glad I revisited it. ( )
  ReneeMiller | Feb 25, 2016 |
3.5***

In 1890 Henry Oades takes his wife, Margaret, and children to new Zealand when he is offered a work opportunity that is too good to pass up. Everything is fine for a while, but an uprising of the Maori natives results in his wife and children being kidnapped and his home burned. Despite efforts to find them, they are eventually presumed dead, and Henry leaves New Zealand for America. There he settles near Berkeley California and becomes a successful dairy farmer. On a trip to town he witnesses a home fire - an event brings back memories of the loss of his family. He later visits the widow, Nancy, to offer his condolences and ensure her that she will eventually recover. Eventually he and Nancy marry and begin life together on the farm.

Meanwhile, six years have passed since Margaret and the children were captured. They have been enslaved in a Maori settlement. When smallpox strikes the village, they are expelled from the compound and left to their own devices. The group makes its way back towards Wellington, only to discover that Henry has left New Zealand. Margaret writes to Henry but months pass with no response. There is nothing to do but set sail for America, and eventually they arrive in Berkeley just a few months after Henry has married Nancy.

Henry and Nancy are stunned, but welcome the ragtag group into their home. The townspeople, however, are not so compassionate; they react with disgust that a bigamist is in their midst.

The novel is based on a case the author's father discovered in the legal archives. It is well paced and kept me reading, but I'm left somewhat dissatisfied. I'm not sure I understand the characters and their motives and reactions to these events. Everyone seems to be just “not quite” engaged, and as a result, I'm left wanting more. I do think it would be great for book groups as it is bound to engender a lot of discussion. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 22, 2016 |
It's a good selection for a woman's book club--with discussions about what the two wives should have done, did they make the best possible choices, the social mores they were constrained by, the husband's love for each woman, in turn, and his children.

This book has a gripping premise, fascinating characters, --and it's all based on a true story! ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
It's a good selection for a woman's book club--with discussions about what the two wives should have done, did they make the best possible choices, the social mores they were constrained by, the husband's love for each woman, in turn, and his children.

This book has a gripping premise, fascinating characters, --and it's all based on a true story! ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Great story-hard to know who to root for in this tale. Sad story with all three main characters being very likable. ( )
  kimpiddington | Oct 5, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
A common bat on the other side of the world elects to sink its rabid fangs, and one's cozy existence is finished.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

A family epic based on a true story follows the experiences of Henry Oades, who in the late 19th century loses his family to Maori kidnappers and remarries in California only to learn of his original family's escape, a situation that compels him to live in bigamy.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Johanna Moran's book The Wives of Henry Oades was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

LibraryThing Author

Johanna Moran is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Author Chat

Johanna Moran chatted with LibraryThing members from Feb 8, 2010 to Feb 21, 2010. Read the chat.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.66)
0.5
1
1.5
2 7
2.5 1
3 38
3.5 12
4 56
4.5 7
5 11

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 133,400,497 books! | Top bar: Always visible