In the years before the American Revolution, a man mysteriously disappears without a trace, abandoning his wife and his 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.
Seven Locks, short-listed for the 2013 Langum Prize for Historical Fiction, is an ambitious and poignant exploration of family love, secrets and misunderstandings, and of the inner and outer lives of those living on the American frontier at the end of the 18th 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.