The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran

The Wives of Henry Oades

Johanna Moran

Based on a newspaper hoax published as a real life case of accidental bigamy in 1873, Moran's tale of two wives with equal claims evokes sympathy. The reader is swept up in the fraught emotional journey of the Oades' family as the protagonists encounter love, marriage, loss, suffering, bigotry and persecution. Intriguing and frustrating, it explores moral and legal complexities amidst a budding sisterly bond. As rocky as a rough sea crossing.

Extract

Nancy noticed Henry's solemn expression as he drove the buggy off to the shed, but gave it no lingering thought. There was the new nightgown to admire and a perfect lemon pound cake to fuss over. It came as no surprise that he chose not to join the welcoming festivities. He did not strictly avoid Margaret as he did at first but neither did he look for opportunities to socialise with her. She haunted him still, understandably.

Parallels
  • Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance: A Case of Transatlantic Bigamy by Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook
  • My Favourite Wife - the film
  • The Colour by Rose Tremain