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Extended Audio Sample The Rebel Wife Audiobook, by Taylor M. Polites Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.67 out of 52.67 out of 52.67 out of 52.67 out of 52.67 out of 5 2.67 (15 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Taylor M. Polites Narrator: Johanna Parker Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781464008269
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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.n Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a wonderful first novel—passionate and brave. It removes the skin of an era, and questions so many of the tropes that hover around nineteenth-century southern American literature. It was Faulkner who, in the twentieth century, talked about the voice of fiction being inexhaustible. Taylor Polites has extended our narrative reach into yet another time. A fascinating, genre-subverting historical novel.”

    Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author of Let the Great World Spin

  • “This engrossing novel about a resilient heroine in the post–Civil War South has all the drama of the era and none of the clichés.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A richly detailed portrait of Reconstruction-era South Carolina…nimble, engrossing…builds to a vivid climax.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gothically atmospheric to the teeth, this ominous tale also smartly derives much of its tension from the sinister social and political realities of postwar Southern society. The suspense is exquisitely honed…wonderfully chilling.”

    Booklist

  • “Borrowing elements from mystery and suspense novels we have all read, Polites builds steady tension throughout the entire story, as pieces of conspiracy fall into place, while others fall away…At times his prose is terse, almost Hemingway-esque, while at others, it is full of beautiful imagery and descriptions.”

    Pank magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/31/2014

    " This novel examines the Reconstruction years in the South and refutes some of the GONE WITH THE WIND stereotypes. The novel tells the story of a young woman used as a pawn in the schemes of white mam's social order. At her side, as she faces the truths of the world she thought she knew, are her former slaves, who have many truths to tell her, but never could. Augusta, the widow is a slave to the male dominated culture of her time, but she has never realized it, unlike the African-Americans slaves who had served her. They knew they were slaves. I like novels such as this, where the story, the characters, and the back story unfold carefully, often in a seemingly random sequence...much as we discover ourselves throughout our lives. The history is well researched, the writing is great, the characters are so real. This novel will stay with me for a long time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karin | 1/31/2014

    " This book was written in riddles. I felt bad for Gus but I didn't like her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison | 1/28/2014

    " I really liked this dark historical novel that is get in the South during reconstruction. It is written from the perspective of a Southern lady who came from a family with a "good name" but finds herself destitute in a post-war nightmare after her husband dies. It is as much about the former slaves still working for her who are trying to find a place as "free" people when the Klan threatens their every move. This book seems almost haunted and made me feel trapped/claustrophobic thinking about what the characters were going through during that hot and disease-ridden summer. That may not be a good recommendation but it is a book that will leave a lasting impression. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Lee | 1/24/2014

    " The story is driven by an unlikable character and it's hard to like the narrator because she seems so naive. But then she is a victim of her time, the antebellum south. The black characters are smart and savvy and the whites are ignorant and greedy. There seems to be no inbetween. I thought the book did well going back and forth from present to past. Some of the writing was very good. It was more of a two and a half star. It was easy to lose patience with the story, but I did not dislike it. I would read this author again. But what was that deadly fever? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 1/17/2014

    " This was OK- was hoping for it to be so much better. Slow start- took me awhile to get into it, then the story got much better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina | 12/27/2013

    " It started off great, got a little slow in the middle, but picked up in the last few chapters. A nice, easy read. :-) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katrina | 8/7/2013

    " The prose is beautiful. Evocative. Atmospheric. And I can tell what Polites is trying to achieve; Southern Gothic is a potent and powerful genre....but terribly elusive. Unfortunately, the plot...story....whatever you want to call it, is weak. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Patti | 2/14/2013

    " I did not care for the way this book was written. Nothing was very believable and the characters were just flat moving in a story that took too long to tell. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vivian | 2/2/2013

    " Maybe I had high hopes for this book but it really didn't resonate with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda Cunningham | 12/22/2012

    " This was very similar to "The Kitchen House" although if I was to read again, I would start with this book then move to "The Kitchen House". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 12/10/2012

    " 3.5/5 I listened to this one and the reader was amazing. In this instance, the reader made the book much more enjoyable than it would have been to read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patsy | 9/29/2012

    " Mostly good, but the ending was a bit abrupt and veering into soap opera territory. Overall a good book about the issues facing the South after the war is lost. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 9/7/2012

    " The first half is slow and at times a little frustrating, but the final 100 pages are quite good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 3/31/2012

    " I really enjoyed this story of a young widow in Reconstruction Era Alabama. So many secrets, so slowly revealed. Interesting that the male author created such a believable and compelling heroine. Pretty impressive for a debut novel--would definitely read more of his books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ptaylor | 2/8/2012

    " The worst book I've read this year. The characters are stereotypes, and the pace just plods. The author focusd on the post-Civil War South, but there are better books, better written novels, that cover this period. Not recommended. "

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About the Author
Author Taylor M. Polites

Taylor M. Polites has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University and BA in history and French from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2009, he was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship from Wilkes University. He has lived in Provincetown, Massachusetts, New York City, St. Louis. and the Deep South and has covered arts and news for a variety of local newspapers and magazines, including the Cape Codder, InNewsWeekly, Bird’s Eye View (the in-flight magazine of CapeAir), artscope magazine, and Provincetown Arts magazine. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his small Chihuahua, Clovis.

About the Narrator

Johanna Parker is an Audie and Earphone Award–winning actress living and working in San Francisco. Since narrating her first audiobook in 2002, she has received praise for her work in all genres, including her portrayal of Sookie Stackhouse in Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire books. She received her BFA in acting from Boston University and studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She has performed on stages in London, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York and has numerous film and television credits. As a voice-over actress, she has voiced commercials, video games, documentaries, and websites.