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The Stolen Marriage

The Stolen Marriage

Blurb

Tess has been engaged to her childhood friend Vincent for a year and is busy choosing a dress for their wedding. Then a polio outbreak takes Vincent to Chicago to volunteer his doctor skills and Tess begins to find herself doubting his commitment to their relationship.

Less than a year later Tess finds herself living in Hickory, North Carolina. She is married to a beloved furniture factory owner named Henry Kraft. Tess herself is an outsider in the town and is unhappy in her loveless marriage.

She hopes that over time they will come to love each other but Henry is cold and distant, reluctant to share aspects of himself and even more reluctant to share a marital bed. Added to that Tess suspects that his claims of working all night in his factory are far from truthful and she is disturbed to find that he has a stash of money hidden in their bedroom.

Desperate for comfort Tess turns to a local medium despite being sceptical of his gift. In doing so she finds a friend among a sea of hostile townsfolk.

When an outbreak of polio occurs in the small town the towns folk pull together to build a hospital and Tess finds meaning volunteering as a nurse.


Our Review

The Stolen Marriage was the third or fourth book I have read by Diane Chamberlain and I always enjoy how easily they are able to engage me. The Stolen Marriage was different from the other books I had read by her in that it was historically set.

Tess has been engaged to her childhood friend Vincent for a year and is busy choosing a dress for their wedding. Then a polio outbreak takes Vincent to Chicago to volunteer his doctor skills and Tess begins to find herself doubting his commitment to their relationship.

Less than a year later Tess finds herself living in Hickory, North Carolina. She is married to a beloved furniture factory owner named Henry Kraft. Tess herself is an outsider in the town and is unhappy in her loveless marriage.

She hopes that over time they will come to love each other but Henry is cold and distant, reluctant to share aspects of himself and even more reluctant to share a marital bed. Added to that Tess suspects that his claims of working all night in his factory are far from truthful and she is disturbed to find that he has a stash of money hidden in their bedroom.

Desperate for comfort Tess turns to a local medium despite being sceptical of his gift. In doing so she finds a friend among a sea of hostile townsfolk.

When an outbreak of polio occurs in the small town the towns folk pull together to build a hospital and Tess finds meaning volunteering as a nurse.

Tess was a likeable character in a lot of ways and it was easy to feel sorry for her when she first arrived in Hickory.

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

As the story progressed there were many more times when I felt pity for Tess but there were also a few where I felt she wasn’t a particularly likeable. The most notable of these was when she expressed distaste for inter-racial relationships. However, because of the time period the book is set in she wouldn’t have been alone in the view.

Likewise, there were many times when I thoroughly disliked Hank. I found him to be a very controlling character and almost every time he was involved in the story I found something that got my back up. Small things like him telling her where to shop annoyed me as much as the bigger things like him making her discard her Catholicism and his protests over her continuing with nursing after their marriage. Again, though he was very much a product of the time they lived in.

My favourite thing about the book was the author’s fascinating account of polio and the efforts of those trying to combat it before the vaccine was developed. It was also interesting to learn about the ignorance surrounding the disease.

I would definitely recommend this book for fans of historical fiction.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3.5/5

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