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4.3 out of 5 stars
In Need of a Good Wife
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
If you are looking for a completely compelling, lovely read, this book is it. The story follows several women on a particularly daring journey west. It is just after the Civil War and many women in Manhattan City are left widowed or at a serious loss for eligible men. One enterprising young woman has decided to take matters into her own hands by arranging long-distance courtships between these women and the eager men in the frontier town of Destination, Nebraska. What follows is a tale impossible to put down; McNees weaves history and personality so seamlessly--huge skirts and snoods parade through a tale rich in characters. One detail in the end of the book was so palpable, I could feel it: "[She] felt the bristles of his mustache rustle over the thin cotton of her glove. He rested his cheek on her knuckles, and all the while he kept his eyes on her". Oh. My. God. Can't you just feel it? Little Laura Ingalls never had such a sexy prairie moment in all her pig-tailed days. The tale is told from multiple perspectives with perfect rhythm. I loved her determined Clara, her sweet Elsa, and the conniving Rowena (who is just about as complex as a woman gets--she's very, very real). I have neglected hearth and home to finish this book; I am so sorry to see it's over now. The characters will stay with me for a long, long time. This is where lovers of prairie lore need to turn!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
A Reader's Opinion: The idea behind this book is the best part about it. I enjoyed the storyline and the concept. The characters were written in a way that I either liked them or hated them. This book took me a surprisingly long time to get through. It moved right along and didn't slow down, but it also didn't pull me. Though predictable at times, I still enjoyed the stories of the individual women. The town is depicted well and I even found myself cringing when I thought about these city women living in such a place. Clara's story felt the most prominent, or perhaps I just enjoyed it more than the others. Rowena--well, I just wanted to slap her a few times, and Elsa--she's a likeable sort.

The romance felt non-existent, but considering what the women went through, I'm not certain romance was the point, though the ending was nicely done. Read it to know what I mean. Overall, I thought it was a well-written book and interesting story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
If you think you have read or seen anything like this books title imply think again! It will either impress you with the authors ability to craft an interesting read or disapoint you if your looking for a simple entertaining story.Both are accurate discriptions of this material. How can that be you may be wondering. You will need to read it to understand that a good well written story can be crafted from an old idea. You will find no disappointment from this reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Not a bad book, but just not a great book. The writing is simple, the characters are underdeveloped, and the story just kind of ends with no real thought or logic. I generally enjoyed the book, but I read so many books that this one I have to list as just OK. You could read this in less than 48 hours and is a good one to bring on trip for some very light reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is kind of a fun book in the way of "characterization" and the harsh life of the time it takes place. The unlikely ending was the only thing in which I was disappointed a little. This is not "heavy" reading, but is an escape into a different time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Clara Bixby's husband walked out on her after the death of their infant son. She is desperate to start over in life when she reads an article about a town in Nebraska. The town is made up of mostly men who are looking for good women to join them. Clara decides to try to fill this need with woman who are looking for a new life. The story focuses mostly on three women. There is Elsa, an older immigrant who has spent most of her life as a laundress, Rowena, a strong willed and spoiled (poor) heress and Clara, the organizer of this adventure. There are many intrigues, adventures, problems, and solutions before everyone is settled. I found the book to be a fun and heart warming read. I am looking forward to reading more from this author!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
In Need of A Good Wife is one of those rare books that combines poetic prose and rich detail with a lovely, captivating story. The story follows the lives of three distinct women who choose to leave behind their desperate lives in Manhattan City, hoping for a better life in Destination, Nebraska. In turns funny, hopeful, and heartbreaking, In Need of a Good Wife is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. Interesting plot. Totally unexpected. Not your run-of-the mill romance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
.....pick this book up. You won't be sorry. It is an historical fiction that is well researched and well written. It is set in the years after the Civil War and talks about the hardship of everyone, especially women of "marriagable age" when there weren't a lot of good men around. I really hated to see this book end.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
In 1866 in Manhattan City, Clara Bixby loses her job at Rathbone's Tavern. This is the latest setback, having lost her baby followed by her husband George deserting her. She reads about a town in need of marriageable women. Seeing an opportunity, Clara writes to Destination, Nebraska Mayor Cartwright asking if anyone is interested in a wife.

Widow Rowena Moore still grieves for Richard who died in the Civil War. With her father in an asylum, Rowena worries about paying the bills, as she sells items like her wedding ring. She knows this is a far cry from her upper class social status. Fortyish Elsa has worked at the Channing Mansion laundry for three decades. When she reads an ad for Christian wives, she decides to take a chance on a change. Clara hosts a meeting with twenty two applicants for eight men. She pairs snobbish Rowena with widower businessman Daniel Gibson, but fails to mention he is the butcher and has five young children. Leopold Shreier wants a cook not a wife. Elsa is interested as both are older Bavarians. One woman backs out in Manhattan City. In Detroit, two more women leave. Another dies on the train. Four of Bixby's Belles reach Destination. The men whose women fail to arrive accuse Clara of fraud. Cartwright likes her, but can't help her as she faces a trial.

This is a super western romance with the three female protagonists possessing different personalities while the time and places come alive with nuances like the letter exchange. Although George's actions seem illogical, fans will enjoy this engaging Cornhusker romance.

Harriet Klausner
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