Seven Locks (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Folklore meets Little House on the Prairie. Wade writes a story based on an old American folktale about a man that mysteriously disappears into the woods in Revolutionary Hudson River Valley. She spins her own take on the story by looking at what might have happened to the family of the disappeared after he left. Her own studies on feminism spark two strong female characters, the wife and the daughter, who have to survive after her husband goes into the woods one day and never comes back.
This is a powerful novel about the struggles of women to support their families in the early American age, and shows that sometimes the courage that it takes to survive can also be a hindrance to one’s place in society.

— Megan, Roanoke


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.

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 . . .

Praise For…

“Seven Locks is luminous, heartbreaking, and wise; a haunting depiction of physical and emotional survival, where truth is recognized too late."

-Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat

“A beautifully written tale that lives somewhere between landscape and memory, where regret becomes a prison, and a story told often enough becomes truth.”

-Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader and the Map of True Places

"Christine Wade vividly recreates life on a Hudson Valley farm in the years before the American Revolution with this fascinating tale of a Dutch woman who struggles to survive with her two children when her husband mysteriously disappears. Lyrical descriptions and graceful narrative pacing will remind readers of Marilynne Robinson."

-Elizabeth Nunez, author of Prospero’s Daughter

"The author gives spirited voices to the voiceless from the years just before the American Revolution, with deft, vigorous, and revelatory prose that penetrates the joys and uncertainties of the human heart."

-Regina O'Melveny, author of The Book of Madness and Cures

“A tale both sensitive and clever…This is a remarkably persuasive story that gains power with each turned page to inspire meaningful reflection on the human condition. A poignant blend of the magical, mystical, and factual.

-Myra B. Young Armstead, author of Freedom’s Gardener

Product Details
ISBN: 9781451674705
ISBN-10: 1451674708
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 352
Language: English