Dimensions: 304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 in
Published: June 17, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1451629516
ISBN - 13: 9781451629514
About the Book
Readers of "The Kitchen House" and "A Reliable Wife" are sure to love this page-turning Southern Gothic novel set in Reconstruction Alabama, about a young widow whose quest for truth turns into a race for her life.
Read from the Book
The Rebel Wife One I KNOW THAT ELI is dying. Rachel said the rattlesnakes were a bad sign, but that doesn’t signify. The Negroes give so much credence to conjuring and signs. But there is something about Eli. He looks so much like Pa before he died. Eli trembles in his bed like Pa did. He has the same fever in his eyes. Losing Pa was terrible, but I don’t feel that with Eli. He is not a bad husband, but it will not be like when Pa died. When Eli came home on horseback, the heat had covered him in sweat. The humidity hung in the air like wet sheets shimmering in the sunlight. Simon had uncovered a nest of snakes beside the carriage house by the apple trees. Rachel and Emma were wild with fear. They closed themselves up in the kitchen. It became so hot the bricks seemed to sweat. John helped Simon kill the snakes with hoes while Rachel called to John from the kitchen window loud enough for the whole town to hear, shouting at him to keep away, to think of their boy, repeating over and over that it was a bad omen. Simon ignored them as if he had no fear at all. His black skin was dotted with tiny beads of sweat from the heat or maybe that was fear. He hacked at them while they shook their rattlers and coiled around each other in a solid writhing mass. Simon warned me to stay back, but I wanted to see them. And then Eli came riding up the lane almost hanging off his saddle. He drank water straight from the pump, lifting the lever and heaving it down as he bent over it,
From the Publisher
Readers of The Kitchen House and A Reliable Wife will love this page-turning southern gothic novel set in Reconstruction Alabama, about a young widow whose quest for truth turns into a race for her life.
Augusta Branson, born of a prominent Southern family made destitute by the Civil War, is forced by her family into marriage with a wealthy upstart. Ten years after her marriage and the end of the war, she watches her husband, Eli, die from a horrifying blood fever.
Newly widowed, Augusta begins to wake to the realities that surround her: her social standing is stained by her marriage, she is alone and unprotected in a community that is being destroyed by racial prejudice and violence, the fortune she thought she would inherit does not exist, and the deadly blood fever is spreading like wildfire. Nothing is as she believed, everyone she trusts is hiding something from her, and if Augusta can’t find a missing package, she and her son face certain death.
Using the Southern Gothic tradition to subvert literary archetypes like the white Southern Gentleman, the good Mammy, the conniving scalawag, and the defenseless Southern Belle, The Rebel Wife shatters the myths that still cling to the antebellum South and creates an unforgettable heroine for our time.
About the Author
Taylor M. Polites received an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he was awarded the 2009 Norris Church Mailer Scholarship. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
"Peeling back layers of deceit and myth combined, Taylor Polites takes us into an era we barely understand. The flawed human heart that finally comes to understand ''the truth'' is at the heart of this enduring, suspenseful novel."—Patti Callahan Henry, author of Coming Up for Air