Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent.
One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever.
It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not.
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. 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 the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have?
A Library Reads Top Ten Book of October 2017
Praise for The Stolen Marriage:
"[A] well-crafted crime-tinged tale." —Publishers Weekly
"The Stolen Marriage is the kind of story that will grab you and refuse to let you go until you turn the last page." —All About Romance
"Readers will be sucked in immediately...you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." —Southern Pines Pilot
Bestseller Chamberlain (Necessary Lies) conveys a strong sense of daily life in the American South during WWII, and the concurrent devastation of the polio epidemic, in this well-crafted crime-tinged tale of a marriage of convenience. Theresa "Tess" DeMello, a 23-year-old nurse-in-training, and Henry "Hank" Kraft meet via a chance encounter during an unchaperoned trip to Washington, D.C.; alcohol and bad decision-making result in Tess's pregnancy and their subsequent wedding. Tess relocates from Baltimore to Hank's hometown of Hickory, N.C., where his family owns a furniture factory. One morning, Tess agrees to drive her sister-in-law, Lucy, on an errand in an attempt to improve their strained relationship. Lucy hints at dark secrets in Henry's life that Tess is not privy to, and requests a detour to deliver a mysterious envelope a detour with fatal consequences. Details like Tess's Catholic background, casual cultural biases, and the balance she strikes between independence and suppression of her own personality, in response to her husband and in-laws, enrich the story.
I've read several books written by Diane Chamberlain, and I've enjoyed them all. This book is no exception. The story draws you in from the start and holds your attention until the end. I finished this book several days ago and can't get the characters off my mind. It was a great book!
Best book i have read in a really long time
One of my favorites by Diane Chamberlain.. I read the book in a little over 24 hours! I could not stop! And I loved the ending! No spoilers, but I thought it was perfect!