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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

Seven Locks

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Seven Locks Cover

ISBN13: 9781451674705
ISBN10: 1451674708
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set in the Catskills on the eve of the Revolutionary War, Seven Locks is a spare, haunting, and beautifully written debut for readers who loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

In the years before the American Revolution, a woman’s husband mysteriously disappears without a trace, abandoning her and her children on their farm at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. At first many believe that the farm wife, who has the reputation of being a scold, has driven her husband away. But as the strange circumstances of his disappearance circulate, a darker story begins to unfold, sending the lost man's wife on a desperate journey to find the means and self-reliance to ensure her family’s survival.

Inspired by a famous American folktale, Seven Locks is an ambitious and poignant exploration of family love, secrets, and misunderstandings, and of the inner and outer lives of the American frontier at the end of the eighteenth century.

In this lyrical and complex book, which opens with a mystery and ends with a literary twist, Wade creates a rich, imaginative and tactile evocation of life and times in the historical Hudson River Valley, where the lines between myth and reality fade in the wilderness beyond the small towns, while an American nation struggles to emerge.

Review:

"Relying heavily on inner dialogue and period details, Wade's debut novel examines the many sides of freedom from the perspective of an abandoned wife on the eve of the Revolutionary War. The book's narrator, an unnamed young mother of two on a farm at the base of the Catskill Mountains, must fend for herself after her husband leaves one evening and never returns. Facing the daunting challenge of singlehandedly caring for her son, daughter, and the farm with little help from a gossipy community, the narrator is brought to her wits' end, yet sacrifices time and again for the sake of her children. As they age, however, the children also leave their mother: the son conscripted for the front lines of the Revolution and the daughter for a wider existence. Left completely alone, the woman once again faces her own limitations, until she encounters two possibly former slaves when she ventures off her farm. The three characters together face an uncertain future, all seeking the balance between freedom and stability that will allow for a better life. Overly long but with staccatos of nicely imagined activity, this is a historical novel for those with an appreciation for the interior lives of period figures. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Markson Thoma Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

“There was, on the Hudson, a way of life such as this, and there was a house not unlike Dragonwyck.”

In the spring of 1844 the Wells family receives a letter from a distant relative, the wealthy landowner Nicholas Van Ryn. He invites one of their daughters for an extended visit to his Hudson Valley estate, Dragonwyck. Eighteen-year-old Miranda, bored with the local suitors and her commonplace life on the farm, leaps at the chance for escape. She immediately falls under the spell of Nicholas and his mansion, mesmerized by its Gothic towers, flowering gardens, and luxurious lifestyle—unaware of the dark, terrible secrets that await.

Anya Seton masterfully tells the heart-stopping story of a remarkable woman, her extraordinary passions, and the mystery that resides in the magnificent hallways of Dragonwyck.

Synopsis:

The Hudson River Valley, 1769: A man mysteriously disappears without a trace, abandoning his wife and children on their farm at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. At first many believe that his wife, who has the reputation of being a scold, has driven her husband away, but as the strange circumstances of his disappearance circulate, a darker story unfolds. And as the lines between myth and reality fade in the wilderness, and an American nation struggles to emerge, the lost man’s wife embarks on a desperate journey to find the means to ensure her family’s survival . . .

About the Author

Christine Wade is a researcher with a focus on women’s health care choices and global health traditions. She has worked in Shanghai, Kunming, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur, as well as Verona, Bologna, and Rome. She lives by the Hudson River in New York City and in the Catskill Mountains. Seven Locks won a James Jones Fellowship Prize for an unpublished novel in 2009.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

JohnLee, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by JohnLee)
I really enjoyed the setting of the book. Most of it takes place in upstate New York in the late 1700s, which was a very interesting time for anyone in America of course. Judith's family is Dutch and it was interesting to see how Judith's mother still clings to the Dutch way of life while Judith says several times how excited she is to be an American Daughter. Historical fiction fans will definitely enjoy that aspect.
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Silvers Reviews, December 29, 2012 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
The disappearance/leaving of a husband was the ultimate betrayal and shame at this time in history. Watching your husband turn around as he always did and walk away from you but expecting him to return at the end of the day but not returning is what the "wife" has to endure in SEVEN LOCKS.

SEVEN LOCKS is a heart wrenching story of a wife and her two children trying to survive the hardships of living on a farm in the Catskill Mountains in the 1700's with the Revolutionary War on the horizon and with no help and no support of the townspeople. The townspeople wanted nothing to do with the wife, whom I never heard a name mentioned, because they believe she killed her husband. Having no name is in itself a sad story.

The descriptions are detailed and intriguing...you will feel the terror and the pain of the characters and the emotional struggle of the children and their mother. You will be able to see through the author's vivid descriptions their mud-drenched yard, their mud-drenched clothes, their crowded barn with animals in it, the fields and valleys, and the frightened, lost children as they live out their meager days and years.

The characters are very well developed along with the story. You will hate some of the characters, be curious about them, and wonder about their lives and motives. You will mostly feel their despair in their difficult lives but the willingness to move on.

The book shares the amazing courage of a woman left to do her work as well as a man's work. It sends a message about struggle and survival at the basest level and a struggle fought alone. It isn't a light book, but your interest will not wane because of the subject matter and because of the author's storytelling skills and elegant, effective prose. You will want to find the mystery of the title of the book and interpret a sentence from page 60: "But the future is a book with seven locks."

SEVEN LOCKS is a book you will have to dissect and read slowly because it will make you ponder. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher with no compensation in exchange for an honest review.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781451674705
Author:
Wade, Christine
Publisher:
Atria Books
Author:
Seton, Anya
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20130131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.31 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling

Seven Locks Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Atria Books - English 9781451674705 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Relying heavily on inner dialogue and period details, Wade's debut novel examines the many sides of freedom from the perspective of an abandoned wife on the eve of the Revolutionary War. The book's narrator, an unnamed young mother of two on a farm at the base of the Catskill Mountains, must fend for herself after her husband leaves one evening and never returns. Facing the daunting challenge of singlehandedly caring for her son, daughter, and the farm with little help from a gossipy community, the narrator is brought to her wits' end, yet sacrifices time and again for the sake of her children. As they age, however, the children also leave their mother: the son conscripted for the front lines of the Revolution and the daughter for a wider existence. Left completely alone, the woman once again faces her own limitations, until she encounters two possibly former slaves when she ventures off her farm. The three characters together face an uncertain future, all seeking the balance between freedom and stability that will allow for a better life. Overly long but with staccatos of nicely imagined activity, this is a historical novel for those with an appreciation for the interior lives of period figures. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Markson Thoma Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , “There was, on the Hudson, a way of life such as this, and there was a house not unlike Dragonwyck.”

In the spring of 1844 the Wells family receives a letter from a distant relative, the wealthy landowner Nicholas Van Ryn. He invites one of their daughters for an extended visit to his Hudson Valley estate, Dragonwyck. Eighteen-year-old Miranda, bored with the local suitors and her commonplace life on the farm, leaps at the chance for escape. She immediately falls under the spell of Nicholas and his mansion, mesmerized by its Gothic towers, flowering gardens, and luxurious lifestyle—unaware of the dark, terrible secrets that await.

Anya Seton masterfully tells the heart-stopping story of a remarkable woman, her extraordinary passions, and the mystery that resides in the magnificent hallways of Dragonwyck.

"Synopsis" by , The Hudson River Valley, 1769: A man mysteriously disappears without a trace, abandoning his wife and children on their farm at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. At first many believe that his wife, who has the reputation of being a scold, has driven her husband away, but as the strange circumstances of his disappearance circulate, a darker story unfolds. And as the lines between myth and reality fade in the wilderness, and an American nation struggles to emerge, the lost man’s wife embarks on a desperate journey to find the means to ensure her family’s survival . . .
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