The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler is an unforgettable novel about a mysterious mail-order bride in the wake of WWII, whose sudden decision ripples through time to deeply impact the daughter she never knew
In the wake of World War II, a young, enigmatic woman named Lily arrives in Montreal on her own, expecting to be married to a man she's never met. But, upon seeing her at the train station, Sol Kramer turns her down. Out of pity, his brother Nathan decides to marry her instead, and pity turns into a deep—and doomed—love. It is immediately clear that Lily is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters when she disappears, leaving a new husband and a baby daughter with only a diary, a large uncut diamond – and a need to find the truth
Who is Lily and what happened to the young woman whose identity she stole? Why has she left and where did she go? It's up to the daughter Lily abandoned to find the answers to these questions, as she searches for the mother she may never find or truly know.
Richler's third novel explores emotional devastation that lasts generations, delivering a powerful punch. In post-WWII Montreal, Canada, Lily Kramer, a young refugee, marries Nathan, the brother of the man with whom she had corresponded and who, after catching his first glimpse of his bride-to-be, refused to marry her. But Lily is no saint herself, and not who she portrays herself to be. Told in alternating chapters, Lily's life after marrying Nathan is juxtaposed with the life of her daughter, Ruth, abandoned soon after she was born. Two notebooks and a mysterious diamond are all that remain for Ruth of her mother, along with a need to know the truth ("Could a person really lose her very sense of self because the world that formed and reflected that self back to her was destroyed?"). Richler whose previous novel, Your Mouth Is Lovely, won the 2003 Canadian Jewish Book Award perfectly captures Lily's heartbreak and the secrets that she keeps. Chapter by chapter the wrenching secrets of the Kramer family peel away, until finally what Lily has hidden is revealed. Once the truth comes, it is heartbreaking.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Imposter Bride
This was a beautiful story of a daughter's search for identity, a sense of her roots and coming to terms with human frailty. This is not what it appears, nor do the character's become the usually expected story line... Beautiful prose and some meaningful insights into post WWII.