The Stolen Marriage
In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life. Consequently she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory is 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. Therefore 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 for the death. 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 in a hostile town, 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, taking the lives of some of its children. Including a boy well known to the Kraft family. The townspeople band together to build a polio hospital in less than three days. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes. And as a result begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more baffling and 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?
The Stolen Marriage is a well written historical fiction/romance novel that is heavy on the history and light on the romance. Which is exactly how I like these books.
Set during the 1940s. The story begins in the northeast but, due to a twist of fate, our heroine soon finds herself pregnant, married to the wrong man and on her way to his family home in the deep DEEP southern US. The war is raging overseas and at home there is a polio outbreak. Even with their hands full, these southern families have time for causing trouble based on their racial, religious and ethnic prejudices which leads to the climatic conclusion of this story.
Diane Chamberlain is the USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of numerous novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy.
Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane’s background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.
Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She also lived for many years in San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home. ” “Diane received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, Diane worked in hospitals in San Diego and Washington, D.C. before opening a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria Virginia specializing in adolescents. All the while Diane was writing on the side. Her first book, Private Relations was published in 1989 and it earned the RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel. Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole. She has three stepdaughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.
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