Kate Quinn's Reviews > The Wives of Henry Oades

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran
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Feb 12, 2010

really liked it

What a love triangle this is. Kidnapping, death, birth, disease, despair, disgrace - and none of it due to anything but sheer bad luck. Based on a true legal case, this is the story of Henry Oades, an adventurous Englishman who drags his wife and children to New Zealand for a two-year business stint, only to lose them all to a Maori raid. Grieving for the wife he presumes dead, he relocates to California, acquires a dairy farm and eventually, a new wife. Disaster strikes when his first wife turns up, children in tow, triumphant at having escaped the Maori - and horrified to find her husband remarried. Social ostracism follows the trio through a vitriolic court case as they try to find some solution to the dilemma. What struck me the most was the kindness and good sense of the central trio - Henry Oades struggles to do right by both his wives, and the women have considerable sympathy for each other rather than descending into a catfight to claim their man. Their humanity, contrasted against the narrow-mindedness of the neighbors who condemn them, wins the trio an unexpected but triumphant ending.
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01/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Tara Chevrestt Good review. Got this one coming in the mail. Looking forward to reading it.


message 2: by Johanna (new) - added it

Johanna Moran Thank you for the thoughtful review, Kate.

Johanna


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