Cover image for The stolen marriage
Title:
The stolen marriage
Author:
Chamberlain, Diane, 1950- author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2017.
Physical Description:
376 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
"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?"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250087270
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.

One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello's life is changed forever.

It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby's father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess's new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she's trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town's golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry's wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. 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 the truth behind her husband's mysterious behavior and find the love--and the life--she was meant to have?

A Library Reads Top Ten Book of October 2017

Praise for The Stolen Marriage:

"[A] well-crafted crime-tinged tale." -- Publishers Weekly

"The Stolen Marriage is the kind of story that will grab you and refuse to let you go until you turn the last page." -- All About Romance

"Readers will be sucked in immediately... you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." -- Southern Pines Pilot


Author Notes

Diane Chamberlain is an American author of adult fiction. Prior to her writing career, she was a psychotherapist in private practice in Virginia, working primarily with adolescents. Among her works are: Secrets She Left Behind, The Lost Daughter, Before the Storm, The Bay at Midnight, The Lies We Told, The Midwife's Confession, and Necessary Lies.

Diane's novel, The Secret Sister, became a New York Times bestseller in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Tess and Vinnie's plan to marry was as organic as Catholicism in Little Italy they grew up together, they fell in love. Despite WWII and numerous wedding postponements, the future looked good for their dream of working together as doctor and nurse. Until Tess visits the big city and makes a mistake: she gets drunk, loses her virginity to a stranger, and becomes pregnant. Instead of confessing to Vinnie (or her family), or risking a 1944-style abortion, she runs to Hickory, North Carolina, and marries the baby's father. WWII values aside, this novel is improbable on several levels. It partly redeems itself, however, by creating a realistic historical perspective on the polio epidemic (Vinnie's area of expertise) and on one heroic rural town famous for its polio hospital. Compelling details of patients' experiences, treatment of African Americans and of women, plus a tinge of mystery will all hold readers' interest in this veteran author's latest. Combines the issue-driven style of Jodi Picoult, the romantic tension of Nora Roberts, and the life-defining-mistake motif of Amy Hatvany's It Happens All the Time (2017).--Baker, Jen Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Chamberlain (Necessary Lies) conveys a strong sense of daily life in the American South during WWII, and the concurrent devastation of the polio epidemic, in this well-crafted crime-tinged tale of a marriage of convenience. Theresa "Tess" DeMello, a 23-year-old nurse-in-training, and Henry "Hank" Kraft meet via a chance encounter during an unchaperoned trip to Washington, D.C.; alcohol and bad decision-making result in Tess's pregnancy and their subsequent wedding. Tess relocates from Baltimore to Hank's hometown of Hickory, N.C., where his family owns a furniture factory. One morning, Tess agrees to drive her sister-in-law, Lucy, on an errand in an attempt to improve their strained relationship. Lucy hints at dark secrets in Henry's life that Tess is not privy to, and requests a detour to deliver a mysterious envelope-a detour with fatal consequences. Details like Tess's Catholic background, casual cultural biases, and the balance she strikes between independence and suppression of her own personality, in response to her husband and in-laws, enrich the story. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

It is 1944, and the war effort molds a sense of duty for the townspeople of Hickory, NC. The divide between races is strict, with tensions running high. After breaking off her engagement to the man of her heart, Tess DeMello has surprisingly found herself married to Henry Kraft, the son of Hickory's most powerful family and a man she does not love. Although her future seems hopeless, Tess learns just who she is and what she is made of as she struggles to stay true to her own moral code in the midst of a polio epidemic. The surprise is that Henry has his own compelling backstory. And Tess herself has complicated, by her own ethics, the happiness of those she truly loves. Verdict Secrets, intrigue, mystery, love, forgiveness, and drama-it's all here. And it is riveting. Chamberlain's (Pretending To Dance) latest novel demands the reader to race, yet savor, the journey to the finale. [See Prepub Alert, 4/10/17.]-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.