The Grisly Wife by Rodney Hall

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Catherine Byrne, a nineteenth-century English missionary, travels to remote Australia with her prophetic husband and his band of eight female disciples and is led through severe hardship--shipwreck, disease, and death.

About Rodney Hall

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Author Rodney Hall was born in Birmingham, England in 1935. After World War II, he migrated to Australia. At the age of 16, he left school in Brisbane, but eventually graduated from the University of Queensland in 1971. He has written collections of poetry, biographies, novels, and scripts for both television and radio. He won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award in 1988 for Captivity Captive and the Miles Franklin Award in 1982 for Just Relations and in 1994 for The Grisly Wife.
Published January 1, 1993 by Faber and Faber. 261 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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but when a neighbor introduced her to Muley Moloch, a charismatic preacher and illiterate bootmaker who'd taken over the name of a famous Irish apostate, she was overwhelmed by a ``miracle'' he performed (she saw Moloch briefly fly)--a miracle that led to marriage to Moloch and to their departure...

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Publishers Weekly

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Muley's visionary charisma leads the group ever farther from civilization but does not draw them together, nor do the shared hardships of settling the wilderness, building two houses (one for Muley, one for the nine women, called the Household of Hidden Stars) and coping with apparitions that sta...

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The Independent

The prophet, an illiterate cobbler who renames himself Muley Moloch so that he may 'bear the sins of the infamous Irish apostate', is a cruel but charismatic figure, a weedy Elmer Gantry.

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