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Book Discussions > The Wives of Henry Oades

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message 1: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Hayes and I are both reading this now and we'd like to discuss. Would it work here, Jenny, or would you consider a buddy read section wherein members could talk spoilers to their heart's content?


message 2: by Hayes (last edited Apr 15, 2010 03:57AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Here I am, Misfit. Thanks for inviting me to the group. I'll poke around and find the place to introduce myself.

The Wives of Henry Oades

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran


message 3: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Hi Hayes. I am enjoying this one. My heart was just breaking for poor Henry realizing his wife and children were killed.


message 4: by Hayes (last edited Apr 14, 2010 01:19PM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) shhhh... I'm just starting!

I'm going to try for 50 pages a day, but I'm not really speedy.


message 5: by Misfit (new)

Misfit OK, but I think that wasn't a spoiler. It's part of the plot. I'll be making some progress today but back to work tomorrow. I'll shut up for now.


message 6: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) It's on the back of the book... don't worry, I was teasing!!


message 7: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Hayes wrote: "It's on the back of the book... don't worry, I was teasing!!"

Whew! This reads very fast and I've made a lot of progress today. Looking forward to your catching up, and this has lots of discussion potential.


message 8: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) This thread is going to be full of spoilers... don't forget to uncheck the box below the comment area "add to my update feed"... I have to go change the default setting on that.

-->> p 50.
I have one question already. Are the Maoris that violent, do you know? I know they are considered great warriors, but I wouldn't have imagined them to be so brutal towards women and children, so already my little ears are pricking up... hmmmm... is she telling the truth...?


message 9: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I'll go and do some research over at HFO (historicalfictiononline.com). Someone will know.


message 10: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Don't know that site. I am up to page 100. May get to 125 this evening.


message 11: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Hayes wrote: "Don't know that site. I am up to page 100. May get to 125 this evening."

If you read a lot of historical novels it's an excellent site, plus a lot of authors participate there as well. Between that and GR I'm in heaven.


message 12: by Mary (new)

Theobald Mary | 14 comments Niolent Maoris? That's a good question. I wondered that myself. Let's ask the author what he researched about Maoris.


message 13: by Mary (new)

Theobald Mary | 14 comments I meant she, the S fell off. (The author is Johanna Moran.)


message 14: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) It's a quicker read than I expected it to be. I got to page 150 this evening, but I will stop now... it's time for bed.

The slavery bit surprised me too. I think I had forgotten that about the Maoris.


message 15: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Looking forward to discussing this when you're done. I have lots to chat about. Might have to have a book done spoiler thread though.


message 16: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (johannamoran) | 12 comments Hi, everyone. I'm the author of THE WIVES OF HENRY OADES, so of course I'm interested in your conversation.
There was plenty of tension between whites and Maori in 19th century NZ, blood shed on both sides, over land & rights, primarily. Early Maori were cannibals, though that practice pretty much died out by 1830, well before my story takes place.
If you'd like to dig deeper, check out REDEMPTION SONGS - A Life of the Nineteenth-century Maori Leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki by Judith Binney, professor of History at the University of Auckland.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to ask me anything.


message 17: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Hi Johanna, thanks for your message. I'm really enjoying your book and will go look for some more info about the Maoris when I am through.

I have to take my son to a medical appointment... hopefully the doctor will keep us waiting so I can read a little more (lol)!


message 18: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (johannamoran) | 12 comments Hi, Hayes, Nice to e-meet you.


message 19: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Hayes, finished. Ready to talk when you are.


message 20: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) I'm on page 250. Should be finished tomorrow. If you want to post some "pre-thoughts" go ahead.


message 21: by Misfit (new)

Misfit K,

*****SPOILERS AHEAD*******





Nancy's tipping the bottle, I actually expected to end another way.
No cat fights, just blended right in
Did Margaret give up the fight too easy?
Thoughts on Henry, the change from his deep love for Margaret and where did the stronger feelings for Nancy come from.


message 22: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) *****SPOILERS AHEAD*******



Nancy's tipping the bottle, I actually expected to end another way. ~~ wondering where that is going and why the point about the water was made...

No cat fights, just blended right in
Did Margaret give up the fight too easy?
~~ This is bothering me some too... M is obviously a beaten woman after her various experiences and her giving in isn't so much of a problem. It's Nancy's attitude that surprises me. I'll talk about this more later.

Thoughts on Henry, the change from his deep love for Margaret and where did the stronger feelings for Nancy come from. ~~ this is a little unconvincing too... to explore.


message 23: by Mary (new)

Theobald Mary | 14 comments As a historian, I cna't help but focus on reality. I enjoy wondering, how much of this story is factual and how much is fiction? I googled the story and found a newspaper account from the 1870s. I wonder, Johanna, what made you move it forward to 1900? What did you find more compelling about the turn of the century than 25 years earlier, when it really occurred?


message 24: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (johannamoran) | 12 comments Well, indeed it is fiction, Mary. I moved it forward because I was fascinated with turn-of-the-century Berkeley. Just a story-telling choice.


message 25: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Okay Misfit... I finished this morning. Hmmmm, where to start? How do you want to work this? One question at a time?


message 26: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Just jump in with what's on your mind. I have to pay attention to work for a few hours :)


message 27: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) OK! Back soon... I have to do a few things too.


message 28: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Nancy's tipping the bottle, I actually expected to end another way.

Let's start here.... I was surprised that it was mentioned throughout the last part of the story. Nancy was constantly drinking and tasting the brandy and the punch, even watering Henry's brandy... and then it disappeared.

I was wondering what it had to do in the story. Was it supposed to be an indication of her character? That she was degenerate? Simply an indication that she wasn't happy? Why mention it if it isn't directly pertinent to something? It puzzled me.


message 29: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I had the same problem with that. It seemed to disappear at the ending unless I missed something. I was expecting her to "lush out" and either die or need to go away for a cure and then Henry and Margaret could start over.

I was rootin' for Margaret BTW.


message 30: by Tara (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments Hayes wrote: "This thread is going to be full of spoilers... don't forget to uncheck the box below the comment area "add to my update feed"... I have to go change the default setting on that.

-->> p 50.
I have ..."


I wondered about the violence of the natives myself. I did some searching and they were Polynesian and that had me scratching my head cause Polynesians in Hawaii were too peaceful.. BUT I can't really blame the "savages" for retaliating the way they did. The white man did come, take their land, publicily whip their people..


message 31: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Me too... [We can talk about that too, why did Henry change horses, so to speak. I think I'm going to go look at the original story too, if I can find anything. :]

I was expecting it to have an effect on Nancy's pregnancy, a miscarriage that goes wrong, and that Margaret would get a second chance.


message 32: by Tara (last edited Apr 19, 2010 11:18AM) (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments Misfit wrote: "I had the same problem with that. It seemed to disappear at the ending unless I missed something. I was expecting her to "lush out" and either die or need to go away for a cure and then Henry and M..."


I was rooting for Margaret as well and I got VERY upset at her just standing by while hubby goes to bed with Nancy. I thought her stronger than that. However, part of me thought.. Ok the woman is TIRED at this point. Maybe all the fight is just gone.


message 33: by Tara (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments Johanna wrote: "Hi, everyone. I'm the author of THE WIVES OF HENRY OADES, so of course I'm interested in your conversation.
There was plenty of tension between whites and Maori in 19th century NZ, blood shed on ..."


I was so fascinated by the natives in your book, I came on here and started googling and yahooing. LOL I guess some of them still exist today.. They have a modern website. I was surprised.


message 34: by Tara (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments I didn't think Nancy was much of a mother. As mean as this sounds, the miscarriage seemed rather fitting. I got the impression that Nancy would've just had Margaret raising the baby anyway. Anyone else think along those lines?


message 35: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I thought Nancy was a pretty crappy mother myself, and not so good as a wife at that. I know she was young and all but still she was extremely self-centered and immature.

Funny how we're complaining about characters and endings and still liked the book.


message 36: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (johannamoran) | 12 comments Hi, Tara, The Maori make up about 12% of today's population in NZ.


message 37: by Tara (last edited Apr 19, 2010 11:41AM) (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments How fascinating! And what an interesting group of people.. Tell me, throughout your research for this novel, did you interact with any Maori? Did you visit New Zealand?

Yes, Misfit, despite my few quibbles, it was a great book. I just woulda liked Margaret to smack that Henry just once or twice. LOL (Think she did slap him once but it wasn't hard enough! I would have to go back and look and I sent it on to my friend Susan)I devoured it one day and was telling my husband about it incessantly to the point he turned the volume of tv up. LOL


message 38: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (johannamoran) | 12 comments Tara, yes, my husband & I went to NZ. Such a spectacularly beautiful country, with the loveliest people. We visited a Maori reservation; but it was very much a tourist experience, the type you'd find here in Florida on a Seminole reservation.


message 39: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Moran (johannamoran) | 12 comments Hey, you guys, I'm enjoying this conversation, but think I might be getting in the way. So I'll check out for now.

By the way, I was rootin' for Margaret, too. Still am in the back of my mind.

Thank you again for reading. I mean it sincerely.


message 40: by Tara (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments Well, I will be on the lookout for your future work.

I'm also hoping to go to NZ myself one of these days.. I want to do a combination cruise thing in which you go to Australia and NZ both, but it is very expensive because you have to fly to Australia and go from there.. Whoo! I wish we had a lottery here.


message 41: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Can I come too Tara? One of my dream vacations as well!


message 42: by Tara (new)

Tara Chevrestt | 121 comments Hell yea! I'm actually searching for a lady travel companion. LOL My husband never has the money. (WEll.. he does but he spends it on his car parts and such.. ) Australia is a place I would really want to explore for a while. I was a big fan of Steve Irwin and have always wanted to go to his zoo. And then there is the town where you can feed the dolphins every morning.. and the opal mining town.. and Sydney.. and I would have to hug a koala bear. LOL


message 43: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Hayes wrote: "Can I come too Tara? One of my dream vacations as well!"

Me three. Although right about now I'm glad I'm not travelling anywhere. I just read some of the horror stories from stuck passengers. It's not pretty.


message 44: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q (jenny_q) | 607 comments Mod
Guess what I got at the library today! Have you guys finished it yet?


message 45: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Yeah, we both did. It reads very fast.


message 46: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Q (jenny_q) | 607 comments Mod
I haven't read your comments yet and won't until I finish. But did you like it?


message 47: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Actually yes I did, maddening as the actions of some of the character were I still liked it.


message 48: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) I liked it too, even if it doesn't always hold together. Well-written and interetsing.


message 49: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cindyreece) | 11 comments SCORE! I just bought this book for $2! And I wouldn't have except I saw that many in this group enjoyed it. Now to find time to read it!!


message 50: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Lulu wrote: "SCORE! I just bought this book for $2! And I wouldn't have except I saw that many in this group enjoyed it. Now to find time to read it!!"

Good job.


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