An Unseemly Wife

An Unseemly Wife

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451469984
  • 336 Pages
  • NAL
  • Adult


Not all journeys come to an end…. 
1867. Ruth Holtz has more blessings than she can count—a loving husband, an abundant farm, beautiful children, and the warm embrace of the Amish community. Then, the English arrive, spreading incredible stories of free land in the West and inspiring her husband to dream of a new life in Idaho.
Breaking the rules of their Order, Ruth’s husband packs up his pregnant wife and their four children and joins a wagon train heading west. Though Ruth is determined to keep separate from the English, as stricture demands, the harrowing journey soon compels her to accept help from two unlikely allies: Hortence, the preacher’s wife, and the tomboyish, teasing Sadie.
But as these new friendships lead to betrayal, what started as a quest for a brighter future ends with Ruth making unthinkable sacrifices, risking faith and family, and transforming into a woman she never imagined she’d become….


“This lilting, image-filled first novel by poet E.B. Moore, a poet and retired sculptor, shifts seamlessly among time periods, and between narrative and letters… heart-wrenching and satisfying…”—Publishers Weekly

“Moore writes with lyrical beauty…I fell in love with Ruth and her family, was gripped by her fortitude through dark days, and held my breath to the heart-stopping end!”—Juliette Fay, author of Shelter Me and Deep Down True

“A breathtaking epic…A transporting, dramatic and thoughtful read—just the way I like them.”— Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

An Unseemly Wife is a disquieting tale of dreams and delusions, community and separation, loyalty and betrayal. Ultimately, Ruth is a survivor among survivors: a woman who, despite the seismic shifts in her world, stands tenaciously at her own center.”—Katheryn Leonard Czepiel, author of A Violet Season

“Top-notch historical fiction…its characters will live with me always.”—Jenna Blum, Author of Those Who Save Us
“One of those rare novels of beauty and darkness, transfixing us with a place few can imagine and a narrator as fierce as she is true.”—Michelle Hoover, Author of The Quickening
“A harrowing and gripping novel.”—Randy Susan Meyers, Bestselling Author of The Murderer’s Daughters and The Comfort of Lies

“Moore’s tale of hardship and survival takes up classic Western themes but adds in Amish heritage as an intriguing twist. . . full of warm, descriptive language, quaint terminology (such as “littles” for children), and fresh, folksy metaphors. A worthwhile literary contribution to the popular Amish-fiction subgenre.”Kirkus (starred review)
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Craig Johnson
Keith McCafferty
Michael McGarrity


Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert
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Fun Fact

Elvis Presley is born in 1935 and, a little over 20 years later, he would have his first #1 single on the US charts, forever changing the landscape of popular culture and ushering in a new age of celebrity superstardom.

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