In Need of a Good Wife
By Kelly O'Connor McNees
(Berkley Trade, Paperback, 9780425257920, 400pp.)
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
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Richly detailed, vivid, and unforgettable, this is an extraordinary novel about three women challenging the American West—and unpredictable fate—for a future only the most daring can secure…
For Clara Bixby, brokering mail-order brides is a golden business opportunity—and a desperately needed chance to start again. If she can help New York women find husbands in a far-off Nebraska town, she can build an independent new life away from her own loss and grief.
Clara’s ambitions are shared by two other women, who are also willing to take any risk. Quiet immigrant Elsa hopes to escape her life of servitude and at last shape her own destiny. And Rowena, the willful, impoverished heiress, jumps at the chance to marry a humble stranger and repay a heartbreaking debt. All three struggle to find their true place in the world, leaving behind who they were in order to lay claim to the person they want to be. Along the way, each must face unexpected obstacles and dangerous choices, but they also help to forge a nation unlike any that came before.
Kelly O’Connor McNees is a former editorial assistant and English teacher.
"The three central, compelling women of In Need of a Good Wife are each, in turn, terribly lost and deeply brave. I adored them and rooted for them…I found it deliciously satisfying that the redemption I wished for each of them arrived in completely unexpected ways, taking both me and the characters by surprise."--Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals
"With graceful prose and historical settings that shine with vitality, In Need of a Good Wife is unforgettable."--Kristina Riggle, author of Real Life and Liars
“Painting vivid images of the poverty of post-Civil War Manhattan City and the harrows of Destination, Nebraska, McNees weaves a hopeful, compelling story of love and resilience so engaging it is impossible to put down."--Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter
“In Need of a Good Wife is a beautifully wrought story, every page bursting with poetry and adventure. McNees sweeps us west with such hope and excitement that we ache and rejoice, celebrate and cry.”--Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen