The Stolen Marriage

by Diane Chamberlain (Goodreads Author)
From perennial bestseller Diane Chamberlain, a compelling new novel

In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

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? (less)

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
1250087279 (ISBN13: 9781250087270)
Edition Language
I loved everything about “The Stolen Marriage” by Diane Chamberlain. I was so mesmerized by this book, that I couldn’t put it down, and read it in one evening.The Genres for this novel are Women’s Fiction, Fiction, Mystery and Suspense and a dash of Romance. There is even a touch of magical essence and  getting information from spirits.
The timeline for this story is approximately during World War Two and the few years after.  During this time in history, there were rations on food and gas during the war.  In many towns it was against the law to have inter-racial marriages. The penalty could be a jail sentence. There was also a division of upper class rich people vs. poor or common people. There was a tremendous tension for and about the young men fighting for our country.  Segregation was very obvious. At the same time, polio was rampant and children and people were getting sick. Some people believed that poor children living in impoverished conditions could get polio.
I appreciate that Diane Chamberlain did much research into the Polio Clinic in Hickory, North Carolina and also researched the history of the times. Many important topics are brought up.
 The story  takes place in the United States in a small town in Baltimore, which is known as  the “Italian ” section, and mostly in Hickory, North Carolina, historically known to house one of the first Polio hospitals.
Many of the characters in the story are emotional, dysfunctional, biased and quirky. Remember the times are complicated and complex. Tess De Mello, is almost finished with her Nursing courses and is planning a wedding to the doctor she has loved for many years. Unfortunately a situation arises, where Tess abruptly leaves her town, and her fiancé  and moves to another town, Hickory, North Carolina. Tess marries Henry Kraft, and is faced with animosity from his family and much of the town. Henry has many dark secrets, and Tess finds that he seems mysterious and strange to her. There is a terrible accident, and Tess feels more alone than ever. Tess has many painful situations in her life that she has to deal with.
Henry is opposed to Tess doing any kind of work. When the town bands together to build a polio hospital, Tess uses her nursing degree to help many patients.Tess saves lives and her compassion and kindness has many  people look up to her.
The author discusses the important and relevant issues  of the times. The author also describes family, friends, trust, love, loyalty and hope. I highly recommend this multi-layered novel to readers that like fiction, history, mystery and suspense, and romance. I received an ARC of this book for my honest review.

3 comments on “MY REVIEW OF ” THE STOLEN MARRIAGE” by Diane Chamberlain”

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