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Extended Audio Sample The River Wife: A Novel Audiobook, by Jonis Agee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00192492781521 out of 53.00192492781521 out of 53.00192492781521 out of 53.00192492781521 out of 53.00192492781521 out of 5 3.00 (1,039 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonis Agee Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2007 ISBN: 9781415941829
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From acclaimed novelist Jonis Agee, The River Wife is a sweeping, panoramic story that ranges from the New Madrid earthquake of 1811 through the Civil War to the bootlegging days of the 1930s.

When the earthquake brings Annie Lark’s Missouri house down on top of her, she finds herself pinned under the massive roof beam, facing certain death. Rescued by French fur trapper Jacques Ducharme, Annie learns to love the strong, brooding man and resolves to live out her days as his “River Wife.”

More than a century later, in 1930, Hedie Rails comes to Jacques’ Landing to marry Clement Ducharme, a direct descendant of the fur trapper and river pirate, and the young couple begin their life together in the very house Jacques built for Annie so long ago. When, night after late night, mysterious phone calls take Clement from their home, a pregnant Hedie finds comfort in Annie’s leather-bound journals. But as she reads of the sinister dealings and horrendous misunderstandings that spelled out tragedy for the rescued bride, Hedie fears that her own life is paralleling Annie’s, and that history is repeating itself with Jacques’ kin.

Among the family’s papers, Hedie encounters three other strong-willed women who helped shape Jacques Ducharme’s life. Their stories, together with Annie’s, weave a haunting tale of this mysterious, seductive, and ultimately dangerous man, a man whose hand stretched over generations of women at a bend in the river where fate and desire collide.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cassie | 2/17/2014

    " A really different, almost weird, book. But somehow I really liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melinda | 2/16/2014

    " Uh-oh. My interest has waned. My own fault probably, sometimes real life gets in the way and then when you re-visit, your interest has... waned. Although the story did just shift gears and people and times and places so now that was maybe a good note to end on. I know Annies story. And that part was interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon Zink | 2/15/2014

    " I really wanted to read this book, and it started out well. But I got lost in the generations of all the characters and couldn't remember who was who. I couldn't wait for the book to end, and I wonder if the author felt the same way. It is about the back woods of Missouri before, during, and after the civil war. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dana | 1/28/2014

    " made it to past the middle, but had to give up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lucy | 1/20/2014

    " By an ex-St. Kate's English prof, so I thought I would check it out. I didn't really care for it, but I managed to read it all anyway. About five different generations of women in the Ducharme family (and their philandering husbands) living on the same piece of land in Missouri from 1810 to 1950. Good premise I guess, but I think even the author got lost sometimes and forgot which character was which. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 lola | 1/19/2014

    " I like the reviewer below me (Emily) who did her review of this book on a plus and minus system. I have trouble with family history books that span generations--Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I am looking deeply into your eyes--because it gets so hard to keep everyone straight, and because, let's be real, you never really care about the later generations. So many pluses for the earlier parts of this story, and for Omah the Pirate definitely, but not so much on the later tales (Dealie, Laura, etc.) because they don't grab nearly as much. Treat it like a Faulkner, lots of individual stories about country(wo)men getting royally f-ed, and you'll be much happier. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susan Coleman | 1/19/2014

    " Characters depicted mood swings so rapid I felt inclined to duck to avoid being cracked in the head, slow and plodding scene development, no discernible plot. I tried so hard to like this book, to find strength in the characters, but after picking it up and putting it back down three times, I'm giving up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 1/10/2014

    " This was a really good read. Well written. Keeps you interested. The story is unique and engaging. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tess | 1/10/2014

    " this is novel that spans three generations of women during the 1800's to present. It begins with a river pirate who meets a woman during an earthquake-and the story goes on. It is a fantastic read. I could not put it down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen Rutherford | 9/12/2013

    " Did not really enjoy this one. Had to read it to the bitter end, just so I would know what happened... but not one I would read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 6/19/2013

    " I really enjoyed the generations I got to know while reading this book. The men didn't change much but that takes longer. The women were strong...always. A nice way to touch on offensive subjects without offending the reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 3/31/2013

    " I didn't love it. Too many generations to keep track of. It was OK. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kimberly | 11/29/2010

    " I didn't finish this book... A LOT of dead babies, miscarriages and a baby mutilated by a dog... no thanks... not for me "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kierstin | 3/19/2010

    " Beautiful story telling of 19th century south. but hard to find the unifying thread - also, totally depressing throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 3/2/2010

    " It was much different than I usually read. I liked the Civil War era & the history that was twisted through the book on the house & families in question. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna Jo Atwood | 9/28/2009

    " I liked Agee's writing style for this one--it's a combination of that lush Southern descriptiveness and Ozark plainness that captured my attention. At times the story was slow moving and then she kept introducing new characters. I was ready to quit before the story did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee | 9/27/2009

    " This had total potential to be a great read. She could have made it into a series of books instead of one, I wanted more on each story and the ending left me thinking. It was a quick read and easy to put down and get back to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanie | 9/13/2009

    " This is a book that gets very convoluted and should be read as quickly as possible. I didn't have that luxury and had to keep referring back to previous chapters to recall who was who. It was a good story, but a bit implausible. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 1/23/2009

    " Very strange book. Too confusing for me to keep the characters straight and too many questions left unanswered. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison Embry | 1/29/2008

    " The prose in this book are quite beautiful, but it did drag a bit. Good story, but I think the book would have been better had it been shorter. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Adriane | 8/16/2007

    " Entertaining, worth reading if you're looking for an easy read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda | 7/28/2007

    " Don't waste your time. The characters have no redeeming qualities. "

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About the Author

Jonis Agee is an award-winning author whose novels include the New York Times Notable Books Sweet Eyes and Strange Angels. A native of Nebraska, she spent most of her childhood summers in Missouri near Lake of the Ozarks. She taught for many years at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After a long absence, she returned to Nebraska, where she lives north of Omaha on an acreage along the Missouri River and teaches at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.