In this dazzling debut, Taylor M. Polites crafts a Southern gothic novel that mines classic literary archetypes while shaping them in new ways.
Set in Reconstruction-era Alabama, The Rebel Wife opens with Augusta Branson losing her husband to a terrible blood fever. Now she and her son must fend for themselves in a community being destroyed by violence. When the inheritance she expected suddenly disappears, Augusta starts hunting for answers, but she’ll have to find them fast—before the deadly fever claims the life of everyone in town, including her son.
A amazing story about a horrible time in our American history. Augusta's story pulls the reader along on her journey to confront her past and present, and look forward into an uncertain future.
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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I have already recommended this book to countless friends! I actually started with the print version after seeing it featured in Oprah Winfrey's O MAGAZINE. My copy arrived at the beginning of one of my busiest weekends, so I promised myself I'd only read one chapter and put the book down until I had the time to devote to it. Well, suffice it to say, when the first chapter of a novel ends with the lines,
Who was your favorite character and why?
I love all the characters in Polites' book (even the mean ones!), but my favorite is Gus. Somehow Polites manages to give her a transformation the is both believable and surprising.
Which character – as performed by Johanna Parker – was your favorite?
I loved Johanna Parker's interpretation of Gus. As the protagonist, her voice is extremely important. Parker understands this and brings Polites' words and the character to life.
Who was the most memorable character of The Rebel Wife and why?
I'd have to say that Gus is the most memorable character, but Simon is a very close second. Actually, I loved all the characters, even Gus's miserable cousin, Judge! They are all so well-drawn.
Any additional comments?
Loved this book!
Where does The Rebel Wife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
The Rebel Wife is probably a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. It was good enough that I wanted to finish it, but not so good that I was hooked & had to listen with every free second I had like other books I've really, really enjoyed.
What did you like best about this story?
The best part of this story was the history lesson it provided. While I've read many Civil War era novels, I haven't read many Reconstruction era novels, so that was interesting.
What aspect of Johanna Parker’s performance would you have changed?
I would've changed the monotonous tone of the narrator. I realize that the main character's state of mind throughout most of the book required that, but I felt it was slightly overdone & there was little inflection/feeling/passion where it seemed there should have been some.
If you could take any character from The Rebel Wife out to dinner, who would it be and why?
The main character because she was quite a contradiction- both fragile & tough, naive, but wise.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful