MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Wives of Henry Oades

A Novel

by Johanna Moran

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran X
The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Feb 2010, 384 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Much easier said than done," she said.

The doctor laughed, showing another side of himself. "You're a droll one. I like that."

Mrs. Randolph was passing the infirmary just as Margaret came out. "Mrs. Oades! You're well, I hope?"

"I am." The lady's eyes were glassy, fevered-looking. She was younger than Margaret first thought, probably Margaret's own age, give or take a year. "And you, madam?"

Mrs. Randolph put a hand to her middle. "The lamb stew of two nights ago nearly killed me. Mind what you eat."   "I shall," said Margaret. "Pardon my saying so, but you appear a bit peaked still. Perhaps you should see the doctor."   "I've seen the no-good," said Mrs. Randolph. "Once was enough, thank you. A baby died last evening, you know."   Margaret's eyes filled. "Oh, dear God. Of what?"

"Whatever the cause," said Mrs. Randolph, "the quack inside made not the first bloody attempt to save it. He's a dentist, by the by, not a bona fide doctor. The purser informed me." She touched Margaret's hand with trembling fingers, her voice softening. "The child was the mum's one and only. She is beside herself with grief, poor wretch. She's not left her berth even to relieve herself. Some of the others and I plan to attend the service at four. Will you come, Mrs. Oades?"

"Of course."

"We'll show she's not alone in the world, won't we?"

"Yes," said Margaret. "Though we won't begin to solace."

The baby's name was Homer Brown. Someone whispered, "Barely a year old."

Prayers were said, and then the shrouded child was let over the rail, into gray water, beneath a gray sky. The bereft mother faltered as the baby was released, grasping the rail in lieu of a husband. There was no man present, no kin at all.

Above, Margaret could hear the rowdy drunks in the men's hatch, Norsemen, a good many of them. Someone shouted in English, "Show a bit of respect for the baby's mum." But they did not let up for a moment.

Kindness Itself

Margaret began to miscarry on the eleventh morning out. A strong wind had come up during the night and was only now abating. A keen howl continued, along with straining-timber noises, hideous, ungodly sounds to die by.

Henry brought her down to John's berth, and then went for Dr. Pritchard, returning instead with Mrs. Randolph. She carried a sack and something wrapped in blue flannel.

Excerpted from The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran Copyright © 2010 by Johanna Moran. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Tokyo Ueno Station
    Tokyo Ueno Station
    by Yu Miri
    Kazu is a ghost, seemingly condemned to haunt one of Japan's busiest train stations, the grounds of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Delayed Rays of a Star
    by Amanda Lee Koe
    Amanda Lee Koe's Delayed Rays of a Star begins with a late-1920s photo of three women at a party in ...
  • Book Jacket: Sleepovers
    Sleepovers
    by Ashleigh Bryant Phillips
    In Ashleigh Bryant Phillips' debut story collection, Sleepovers, it can be difficult to keep tabs on...
  • Book Jacket
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Voyage of the Morning Light
    by Marina Endicott

    A sweeping novel set aboard a merchant ship sailing through the South Pacific in 1912.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Wedding Thief

The Wedding Thief
by Mary Simses

Funny, soulful, and as sweet as buttercream, The Wedding Thief is the perfect summer read.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S Louder T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.