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The Rebel Wife

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


This “gloriously gothic”* novel about a young widow trying to survive in the violent world of Reconstruction Alabama is “history with a heartbeat, lovingly described and yet a true page turner” (Providence Journal).

Brimming with atmosphere and edgy suspense, The Rebel Wife presents a young widow trying to survive in the violent world of Reconstruction Alabama, where the old gentility masks continuing violence fueled by hatred, treachery, and still powerful secrets.

Augusta Branson was born into antebellum Southern nobility during a time of wealth and prosperity, but now she is left standing in the ashes of a broken civilization. When her scalawag husband dies suddenly of a mysterious illness, she must fend for herself and her young son. Slowly she begins to wake to the reality of her new life: 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 fever that killed her husband is spreading fast.

Augusta needs someone to trust if she and her son are to escape. As she summons the courage to cross the boundaries of hate, The Rebel Wife presents an unforgettable heroine for our time.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 14, 2011 – Polites s debut offers a richly detailed portrait of Reconstruction-era South Carolina. Shortly after the Civil War ends, Augusta marries Eli Branson, a much older businessman (and suspected Yankee sympathizer) whose fortunes could help support her struggling family. Ten years later, Eli s sudden, gruesome death sends Augusta and her household into a tailspin. Though she expects to inherit a vast fortune from Eli, her knowledge of his business dealings is spotty, and her family attorney says that her husband s assets aren t nearly as extensive as she d thought. After Augusta learns that Eli was carrying a large sum of money when he fell ill, she realizes that finding the money may be the only way to support herself and her young son. As the blood fever that killed Eli begins to spread through the town and postwar racial tensions flare, her search for the missing money becomes more frantic. But before she finds it, she must confront evidence of her husband s complicated past and secrets that color her relationship with her family and friends. After a nimble, engrossing first chapter, Polites loses momentum, but he eventually builds to a vivid climax. The novel s well-rendered setting and complex characters easily make up for a few slow passages.

Customer Reviews

The Rebel Wife

I really enjoyed this book. Definitely a different take on a subject written about so often. I rarely read fiction and then it is always historically based. Wouldn't say that this is a "must read" but it was pretty good.

The Rebel Wife
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Feb 07, 2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings