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 (From Goodreads)
I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
Thank you to St. Martins Press for sending me this book, in exchange of an honest review.
I own Diane Chamberlin books, I have not read them yet. There was something about this book that was calling my name. If this is how good her other books are, than I am in for a real treat once I get the time to read them. The Stolen Marriage was so good! And I love that it was based on a real event in history. The Polio outbreaks and the hospital that was built-in under 3 days to take care of the children suffering from Polio.
The story woven around this sad time in history was equally good. I loved everything this book touched upon. Social stature, racism, same-sex un-equality, rich people, poor people, looks, breeding, prominent people vs. commoners. It was just such a fantastic read, I felt like I flew through the pages, Diane really had me drawn into this world. I loved Tess, and I ultimately wanted the best for her, and I had a serious soft spot for Henry. He appeared cold and distant, but I knew there was more to him.
This book comes out October 3rd, and I highly suggest it. I have included the Amazon link below to make it easy to pre-order.