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.
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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.
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.
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.
The main character because she was quite a contradiction- both fragile & tough, naive, but wise.
- Sarah "Mom, historical fiction junkie, scientist, commuter who missed the escape of reading & was saved by Audible"
- Kim Mancini "No-Berly"