Advance reader reviews of The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran.

The Wives of Henry Oades

By Johanna Moran

The Wives of Henry Oades
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2010,
    384 pages.

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There are currently 30 member reviews
for The Wives of Henry Oades
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  • Jill S. (Chicago, IL)


    When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction
    This is a page-turning debut novel that is based on the true story of Henry Oades, a principled man whose first wife is abducted -- along with their children -- by the Maori. After years of grief, he eventually travels to Berkeley, California, where life gives him a second chance through his marriage to an attractive young widow. But then his first wife and children show up...and he is viewed as a bigamist by the narrow-minded Daughters of Decency.

    The questions raised by this book focus on the moral dilemma of a decent man torn between two fascinating women and the evolving relationship among the three. At times the emotions of the women are not explored deeply enough, particularly the first Mrs. Oades who has every reason to feel emotionally betrayed. Still, this is an incredible story that will be certain to elicit thought-provoking discussions long after the last page is finished.
  • Jeanne S. (Ludlow, MA)


    Terrific debut novel
    The Wives of Henry Oades, a turn of the century novel based on a true series of trials, tells a fascinating story through the eyes of two remarkable women who are married through no fault of their own to the same man. The settings of New Zealand with its cruel Maori kidnappers and Berkeley, CA provide a stunning contrast until Henry's neighbors, angry that he refuses to rid himself of one wife, attack the family using both the law and terror. This is a beautifully developed story, realistic in characters and circumstance. It would make an excellent film. Women book club members will probably appreciate the strong female characters, but men might enjoy it too.
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