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A prize-winning historical novel that has become a New Zealand classic.

When Betty Guard steps ashore in Sydney, in 1834, she meets with a heroine's welcome. Her survival during a four-month kidnapping ordeal amongst Taranaki Maori is hailed as nothing short of a miracle. But questions about what really happened slowly surface within the élite governing circles of the raw new town of Sydney.
Jacky Guard, ex-convict turned whaler, had taken Betty as his wife to his New Zealand whaling station when she was fourteen. After several years and two children, the family is returning from a visit to Sydney when their barque is wrecked near Mount Taranaki. A battle with local Maori follows, and Betty and her children are captured.
Her husband goes to seek a ransom, but instead England engages in its first armed conflict with New Zealand Maori when he is persuaded to return with two naval ships. After her violent rescue, Betty's life amongst the tribe comes under intense scrutiny.

Based on real events, this is the compelling story of a marriage, of love and duty, and the quest for freedom in a pioneering age.

Reviews

A clever beautifully written novel, The Captive Wife reminds us what an intelligent and skillful writer Kidman is … Fiona Kidman: the words have come to mean terrific fiction underpinned by a sound female conscience. If The Captive Wife is anything to go by, Kidman’s luminous literary standing is assured for many years to come.

Siobhan Harvey, New Zealand Herald

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781869416867

    August 12, 2005

    RHNZ Vintage

    368 pages

    RRP $28.99

    Online retailers

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    Or

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  • EBook

    9781869790813

    May 1, 2010

    Random House New Zealand

    367 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
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    Or

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Also by Fiona Kidman

All Day at the Movies
This Change in the Light
The House Within
Songs from the Violet Cafe
The Best of Fiona Kidman's Short Stories
The Infinite Air
Preservation
The Book of Secrets
Paddy's Puzzle
A Needle in the Heart
Ricochet Baby
A Breed of Women
The Trouble With Fire
True Stars
Where Your Left Hand Rests
Beside The Dark Pool
At the End of Darwin Road

Recommendations

The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Voyager
The Handmaid's Tale
The Tea Gardens
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Award
Tiger Men
Beauty in Thorns
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Drover's Wife
The Golden House
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Golden Age
Swing Time
Ned Kelly
Life After Life
A Long Way from Home