The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Imposter Bride

The summary of The Imposter Bride (A) by Nancy Richler intrigued me enough to want to read it and thanks to Book Browse I got the chance. I expected that it would be similar to The Reliable Wife.   It surpassed my expectations.

Lily arrives in Montreal just after World War II.  It has been arranged that she would travel to Montreal from Palestine to meet and marry Sol Kramer.  Upon her arrival at the train station, Sol has a change of mind and abandons her there.  It is Nathan, Sol’s brother, who takes pity on his brother’s rejected bride and marries her instead.  Lily’s traveling papers identify her as Lily Azerov but they are just papers after all.  Lily took documents from a dead woman named Lily and traveled with her identity.  This was not an uncommon practice after the war, as refugees needed proper papers in order to travel.  What “Lily” doesn’t realize is that coincidence has placed her with the family of the real Lily.

After just a few short months of marriage, Lily finds herself pregnant.  When her daughter Ruthie is only three months old; she abandons her.  She leaves only a short note and no indication of where she will go.  She makes sure she cannot be found.

Along with identifying papers Lily took an uncut diamond that the dead Lily had in her possession. The qualities of the uncut diamond mirror the story that follows.  Like the rough diamond, Lily, her daughter Ruthie and the entire cast of characters have many facets to them.  Cut the diamond incorrectly, it will shatter and be worthless.  Cut and polished correctly, it will be invaluable.  Generation after generation leaves the diamond intact.  Generation after generations never discuss the past leaving it imagined

The Imposter Bride was a strong and engaging novel.  The character development was deep and rich. At times, the flow of the story was a bit confusing but it gave the reader the sense of angst that Ruthie was experiencing. I love to become invested in a story and Richler’s expert telling made it easy. I highly recommend The Imposter Bride.  This would make an excellent book club choice.

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