The Rebel Wife by Taylor M Polites
A Novel

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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.

About Taylor M Polites

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Taylor M. Polites received an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University, where he was awarded the 2009 Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Published February 7, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. 306 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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After a materially comfortable 10-year marriage, forced on Gus by her mother, she learns from the trustee of Eli’s will, Judge Heppert, that Eli was steeped in debt and there is no money, which contradicts the whispered comments of Simon, an ex-slave used by Eli to deliver political bribes.

Feb 07 2012 | Read Full Review of The Rebel Wife: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Nov 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Rebel Wife: A Novel

City Book Review

For instance, all science fiction is a morality play, where if you meet a sweet-natured young man in Chapter One, if he’s not killed off in Chapter Two, he’s going to be the greatest ray gun warrior in the history of the Galaxy by the end of Chapter Seven, because he’s been pushed too far.

Mar 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The Rebel Wife: A Novel

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The Roanoke Times

The local judge appoints himself as executor of the estate, claiming that Augusta has been left virtually penniless.

Apr 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Rebel Wife: A Novel

Fred Beauford

As Miss Gus begins to settle their estate and move forward with her life she begins to uncover many details about her husband, his business, his political activities, the circumstances surrounding their courtship and marriage, and her place among her family and friends in society.

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Pank Magazine

Polites, is a genre-subverting novel, framed within the Southern Gothic tradition that is very much a meditation on the purposeless of death, which is immediately evident in the first sentence: “I know that Eli is dying.” Set in the town of Albion in Reconstruction-Era Alabama – roughly ten ye...

Feb 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Rebel Wife: A Novel

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