Elyse G. (Creswell, OR)
"Wives" is an interesting and different story, and all the more intriguing being based on real people.
Unfortunately, I found the writing to be just average - no memorable passages here- and the characters somewhat one dimensional. There is very little range of emotion shown, and motives aren't always clear. We don't really get to know the characters very well, beyond their devotion to one another.
There are some interesting dramas in the story, the abduction, the search, the trials for bigamy. But all were merely sketched out. I would have liked more about the family's life with the Maori, for instance. And the end was a let down - everything is resolved, but it ended abruptly as if in the middle of a paragraph.
This is a book I might suggest picking up at a used book sale or borrowing from your library, but certainly not one I would pay $5 or more for.
Erica L. (Plaistow, New Hampshire)
A Great Book Club Pick
My first thought while reading this book was that it would make a GREAT book club pick. There are so many different points that would make for great discussion. What would you do in each of the characters shoes? I thought the characters were well developed, but I was left wanting more. I feel as if it could have been a little longer exploring in more detail the feelings of not only the two Mrs. Oades, but those of Henry. Overall a good read.
Linda G., Manager, Lafayette Book Store, CA
A Different Kind of Family
I manage an independent book store in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I was especially interested in the local history in "The Wives of Henry Oades". Based on the cover, I thought it might be a little too 'flowery' for me, but I wanted to make sure I read it because of the interest my customers might have. I was very much impressed with this historical debut novel. The storyline was smooth, flowed nicely and was very readable. However, it was actually the well-developed characters, and the authors' ability to put you right in their place, actually feeling their feelings, while experiencing with them this moral dilemma they found themselves in.
The two Mrs. Oades' were both portrayed as wonderful women, strong in their own way as they struggled together to endure the persecution of themselves and their families by the surrounding community. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their growing respect and love for each other, and for each others children. Henry, Mr. Oades, was a very likable man who just wanted so much to please everyone involved. The courtroom scenes in the novel, made it nearly impossible to put down!
This will be an EXCELLENT book club choice! I can't wait to start recommending it.
Doris K. (Angora, MN)
The Wives of Henry Oades
I was disappointed in this book. Although it was based on a true court case the characters didn't ring true. The basic idea was interesting but I didn't think the characters were developed enough to make a really good read. Too many things happened too quickly. Somehow I felt as a reader I did not really get into their basic feelings about their circumstances and the problems they had to face.
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
excellent historical fiction
The author used some real life legal facts to create an excellent historical fiction book. The Wives of Henry Oades is an easy read, and it was such a vivid telling of the story that I could picture myself in many of the scenes. The main characters were likable and I could feel sympathy for both women. A great book club read which would surely lead to an interesting discussion about the morals at the turn of the century.
Virginia W. (Cloverdale, CA)
The Wives of Henry Oades
I loved this book! It is an engrossing story and very well written. Margaret Oades is one of the strongest women I have ever read about. Each travail in her life only makes her stronger. I recommend this book wholeheartedly and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Sue J. (Wauwatosa, WI)
I really enjoyed this book, not only for its good story but also for the insight into the feelings people can have against others. The author did a wonderful job getting you to really feel the characters in this book. Usually a cover attracts me to a book, but the cover chosen didn't appeal to me. I recommend The Wives of Henry Oades to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.