The Rebel Wife was ok. I enjoyed the setting, which Polites described so well, and I loved the post Civil War era in which the story took place, but I just didn't like reading the story in present tense/first person. Blah! Now, that's not to say that Taylor Polites did not write a likeable, readable book. I did like the story but I just found it to be drawn out at times and found myself becoming impatient with Augustus(Gus), the main character. She seemed to ramble on and on and some things were repetitive. The title is kind of misleading, too. Gus may have done a few things that a woman would not have done but I would hardly consider her a "REBEL WIFE". Maybe a woman doing what she HAD TO DO is a little more like it.
Post Civil War Era. Reconstruction Era. Augustus Branson is a Southern beauty, married to a wealthy Yankee. The slaves are now free but hatred and racial tensions are at a boiling point. Gus, as Augustus is nicknamed, finds herself widowed after her husband dies from a mysterious death. Gus shows no emotion at his passing because she believes that she has been freed from a marriage she never wanted and was pushed into. A son was born of this ten year union. Henry. Unfortunately, Gus is visited by her elderly cousin, who is also the executor of her late husband's will, and is told that after the business and personal debts are paid, that Gus and Henry will be left with very little. How can that be? There was once so much money. Where is the money from the mill that is still operating?
Amid a quickly spreading and deadly illness that is claiming lives, Gus must learn how to operate her household with no income, deal with a household of freed workers who expect to be paid, decide if she and her family should flee to safety, and most importantly, learn who is to be trusted and which of those are to be feared.