The Hempen Widow

( 4 )

Overview

The year is 1895. Mary Turner has just given birth to her first child in a roadside ditch. A local farmer, Jacob Zane, finds Mary in this vulnerable position and brings her into town. The people of Bately soon find out that Mary is a "hempen widow," meaning that her outlaw husband, Billy Turner, was hanged at the gallows. Some people are quick to judge Mary, including the hypocritical minister, Reverend Schenk, and his lusty daughter, Azalea. Others welcome Mary and provide support. When Mary leaves Bately in ...

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Overview

The year is 1895. Mary Turner has just given birth to her first child in a roadside ditch. A local farmer, Jacob Zane, finds Mary in this vulnerable position and brings her into town. The people of Bately soon find out that Mary is a "hempen widow," meaning that her outlaw husband, Billy Turner, was hanged at the gallows. Some people are quick to judge Mary, including the hypocritical minister, Reverend Schenk, and his lusty daughter, Azalea. Others welcome Mary and provide support. When Mary leaves Bately in search of a better life on the west coast, she finds herself right back in the arms of an abusive man. Mary manages to escape her abuser's wrathful grip, only to discover that Jacob Zane wants her to return to Bately and become his wife. Will Mary overcome her fears of marriage and commitment and surrender to Jacob's love?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413738148
  • Publisher: Publish America
  • Publication date: 4/11/2005
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2005

    On Human Love and Human Growth

    Historically and culturally accurate, this book is a Find for those who are interested in multidimensional characters, love, and human issues. By the second chapter, I couldn't put it down until it was done and I can't wait to get the next one. Transitioning the past with the present, the author shows a spectrum of understanding of the old and the new societal issues and --- of the ones that don't change. Some aspects are very 'Indigo'. What a Talent! Can't wait for More!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2005

    Quality Fiction

    This a well-written historical romance set in late 19th century Ohio. 'Romance' is used loosely here because this is actually a realistic love story set against a harsh socio-economic background - a poor, rural farm area where the people impose rigid, stifling restrictions on women in particular. The main character is a fairly independent young woman for that time. The story is an unfolding of threats and challenges to her self-confidence and personal growth that leads to an interesting resolution, comforting to some but perhaps unsettling to others. If you like historical elements and well-developed characters, you'll enjoy this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2005

    A Great Summer Read!

    This is a beautifully written book, with characters that live on in your mind well-after you finish the story. The book opens in the late 1800's with the heroine, Mary Turner, as an orphaned child. She is shifted from one home to another, and frequently abused by her guardians. She repeats the cycle of abuse in adulthood by marrying a violent man. Fortunately for Mary, Billy Turner is hanged at the gallows, thus freeing her from the domestic violence- but also giving her the label of 'Hempen Widow.' This is the story of one woman's emotional and spiritual healing. When she finds a good man who treats her with respect, the reader celebrates her triumph. It is not without sadness or realism, either. I don't want to give away the plot, but a main character dies, another character is raped, and Mary loses a child in childbirth. The book honestly depicts how hard life would have been 100 years ago for a woman in rural Ohio-I highly recommend this book by a yet unknown author, Harper Quinn

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2005

    An enthralling read!

    Harper Quinn follows in the tradition of lyrical storytellers like Isabel Allende, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. The tale of Mary Turner and those she encounters in her stormy life is rich with detail of what it was like to live and love as a woman in the late 1800's. I especially liked the well-written glimpses into Mary's inner battles as she encountered turbulent times. Harper's philosophical turns and mystical realism also made this a great read. As Mary Turner learns, life is not always what it seems. Highly recommended.

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