The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran

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I was sooooooo disappointed by this book.

Henry Oades lost his wife and four children when they were kidnapped in New Zealand by the Maori. He searched for them, but townspeople convinced him that they were dead, and he left for California depressed and greiving.

Roughly 6 years later, Henry decides to marry a local widow and mother, Nancy, seemingly out of pity for her but apparently he falls in love with her pretty quick. Later that same year, his original wife and 3 of his children show up (they were finally let go). They all decide to live together, since neither wife wants to give him up.

Then three slooooowww trials go by, because they’re being accused on polygamy. All three trials are thrown out of court, and the Oades go on their merry way.

There didn’t really seem to be a point to the book. I felt bad for Henry right after the kidnapping, and I felt bad for the first Mrs. Oades the whole time. But when everyone is reunited, another 200 pages drag on, in which nothing changes – the trials were completely pointless, Henry and his two wives and all his children go on living together, and Margaret and Nancy continue to remain pretend friends (cause I never felt that they actually came to like each other). This wasn’t a story of enduring love, of strong women, or of friendship – no strong lesson or feelings come from this book. And what’s sad that it these aren’t actually spoilers. The whole plot of the book is right on the back cover – husband and two wives accused of polygamy. No real plot past that.

Nancy is really annoying. Henry is kind of an idiot. And Margaret is level-headed and admirable, but it’s kind of sad that she lets herself be used as a housekeeper by Henry and his new wife.

Kind of a big waste of time. Not even glad that I forced myself to finish it.

1 star

~Sarah

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One comment

  1. >The reviews for this one really seem to be all over the place. Some people love it but then you definitely did not. I think that makes it a "maybe if it shows up for a quarter at the library sale so I won't mind giving up reading it if I also hate it" book.

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