Title: The Stolen Marriage
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: October 3, 2017
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?
"It's a terrible feeling, being despised."
It's amazing how a wrong step can change the outcome of your whole life!
This is exactly what happened to the main character of The Stolen Marriage.
Tess DeMello comes from an Italian family. She's Catholic and she has been in love with the same boy she grew up with as far as she can remember. This boy, now a man is a doctor and they are engaged. Tess in planning her wedding when he decides to volunteer in a different town and he leaves Tess alone for weeks making her wonder if he has changed his mind about marrying her.
In one night, a wrong decision and Tess will have to leave her town and the people she loves. She will marry Henry Kraft and move to Hickory, North Carolina. Henry's mother and sister are not thrilled about the wedding. The town doesn't like Tess either. Everyone, will make her life difficult and make her feel like nothing but an outcast. It doesn't help that Henry keeps many secrets and he doesn't seem inclined to share them with her. He doesn't seem to want to share their bed either!
The Stolen Marriage had a good mystery going on. I wanted to know what Henry was hiding and why were so many people were against Tess. I think Diane Chamberlain did a good job in leading us into the big reveal. I personally liked the outcome. It made sense to me.
Tess was a good character to root for. She tried her best to continue with her career despite Henry and his mother not wanting her to pursue it. I didn't hate Henry but I didn't like him most of the time. I thought he let his mother and sibling get away with too much instead of defending Tess from them.
Overall, I enjoyed the Stolen Marriage and wouldn't hesitate to grab another novel by Diane Chamberlain.
A complimentary copy was provided by ST Marting Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.