The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
** I received an advanced readers copy from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
Diane Chamberlain is one of those authors who's books I always look forward to reading. I don't need to read the synopsis and I don't need to know what it is about ahead of time before picking it up. After reading every available title to date I just know that I am going to love it no matter what. Picking up a Diane Chamberlain novel is like wrapping myself in a warm blanket beside a nice fire on a cold winters day. It is the picture of comfort and satisfaction. I eagerly await and anticipate the release of each new novel.
The Stolen Marriage was about a young woman named Tess, who due to difficult circumstances, broke off her engagement to her life long sweetheart and moved away from everyone she knew and married a man she barely did. In her new life she had privilege but it came at a price and she had a difficult time navigating her new environment and understanding her new husband. Set in 1944 during a time of racial tensions and the polio epidemic, Tess struggled to come to terms and live with the decisions she made.
I have to start by saying that I love historical fiction and this story provided me with all of the things that I love most about the genre. It wasn't hard to tell that a lot of time and research went into making this story as historically accurate as possible. That is something that I have come to find you can always count on in a Diane Chamberlain book. I don't imagine that it is an easy task to wrap a fictional story and characters around real life facts and events but she made it seem effortless. The polio epidemic wasn't something that I knew a lot about but after the little bit that I learnt from reading this book I plan to research farther.
The characters and plot in this book were beautiful. I absolutely adored Tess. I almost felt like I was Tess as she was navigating her life. It was more than empathy. It felt like I was navigating the streets and people of Hickory as Tess. The writing and story were so engaging that it drew me back in time and I felt like I was a part of it. It was fascinating to read about a time when things were so different and you could be shamed for things that people wouldn't even blink an eye at now. I even had a love/hate relationship with Henry for reasons that I can't say and that you will have to read to find out. Every single aspect of this story kept me glued to the pages and because of that, I had it finished in no time.
There really are no words that can adequately describe how much I enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of Diane Chamberlain you will not be disappointed. If you haven't had the opportunity to pick up one of her books I strongly encourage you to. My only complaint is that I will have to wait for her next book.
I loved this book!
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