The Stolen Marriage

“It’s a terrible feeling, being despised. From the moment I set foot in Hickory, I felt the suspicion, distrust, and outright hostility of most of the people I met. Even my new sister-in-law regarded me with disdain.”

The Stolen Marriage
By Diane Chamberlain
Source: Advance review copy

It’s 1943 and Tess DeMello’s world is centered on getting her nurses license and marrying the love of her life but Vincent has left Baltimore for a temporary physician assignment in Chicago. She realizes that this is for his career and is patiently waiting and dreaming of the day when they can work side-by-side but the weeks turn to months. When her best friend suggests that they go to Washington, D.C. little does Tess know that this trip will change the course of her carefully laid-out plans.

Tess leaves her hometown and goes to Hickory, North Carolina to marry Henry Kraft, the town’s most eligible bachelor. She is willing to make the best of their situation and Henry seems like an honorable man but his kindness is about the only she’ll receive. His family, who they’ll live with for a while, is less than thrilled at having her in their home. They don’t know what to make of her with her dark looks, Italian background and Catholic faith.

There are confrontations because Tess is not willing to lose all of herself as she is determined to still pursue her nursing career. Her husband at time seems like a man of many secrets and she doesn’t know if they’ll ever have the kind of love she’s dreamt of but all she can do is think of the future and try not to think too much of all that she’s lost.

When a polio epidemic hits the town, everyone must pitch in to help. Tess will be able to put her nursing skills to good use and at the same time confront the past.

I really enjoyed this novel. I thought the author did a great job of giving the reader a sense of place and showing what it must have been like for women forging a path for themselves and how costly it was for a woman to make one mistake. What I didn’t like as much was the ending. I just felt like the actions weren’t true to the main characters and I was a bit disappointed by that. Still if  you enjoy women’s fiction and family dramas I would recommend this one.

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New Books

I hope you all had a great weekend. I have a few new books to tell you about that I’ve received recently. I actually have been downloading a lot of books from NetGalley but those are for another post. Here’s what I’ve received:

The Ghost Tree by Barbara Erskine. Ruth has returned to Edinburgh after many years of exile, left rootless by the end of her marriage, career and now the death of her father. She is now faced with the daunting task of clearing his house. A story about family secrets and a look at the past. I have not read anything by this writer so I’m excited about this book.

Mine by Courtney Cole. When Tessa Taylor unlocked her husband Ethan’s iPad to discover nude photos from a twenty-six-year-old bombshell named Lindsey, her seemingly perfect life came to a screeching halt. Oh boy, what explanation is the husband going to come up for this one?

No One’s Home by D.M. Pulley. Margot and Myron Spielman move to a new town, looking for a fresh start and an escape from the long shadow of their past. But soon after they buy Rawlingswood, a foreclosed mansion rumored to be haunted, they realize they’re in for more of the same…or worse. Always love a story about a haunted mansion.

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper. Andrew’s been feeling stuck. For years he’s worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe. I think this is going to be a good one.

Let me know if you are planning to read any of these. Which one would you start with first?

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Currently Reading

I’m currently in the middle of five books and I wanted to share a bit of my thoughts on these.

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker. I’m listening to this one on my commute and it’s the story of two sisters who disappeared one day, one has come back three years later but what happened to them and is her sister still alive? Lots of crazy family dynamics in this one and a psychologist who may also be carrying some baggage as well. Interesting but I wish there was more action.

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde. I am not very far into this one but it’s a hoot. Mary Mary and Jack Spratt work the Nursery Crimes Division and they’ll be tasked with finding out who pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, adapted by Renee Nault. I have read this Atwood classic twice and it’s one of my all time favorites and when I saw the graphic novel version at the library I couldn’t resist. The illustrations are beautiful and so far I think it captures the novel very well.

The Carrying by Ada Limon. I didn’t feel a strong connection to this poetry collection at first but there have been a couple of poems that have really moved me. I’m half way through this and I feel like the best is yet to come.

After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe. I read her book, The Ice Beneath Her, and really enjoyed the twists and turns so I was looking forward to this one but this one seems to be lacking that tension of the first book.

So those are my current reads. I will probably finish a couple of these soon so I’m already looking forward to what I’ll pick up next. Would love to hear if you’ve read any of these and what you thought.

I hope you have a great weekend and let me know if you are starting/finishing any books this weekend.

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