In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly 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…
I read a couple of books by Diane Chamberlain in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was eagerly anticipating The Stolen Marriage and found myself completely hooked from the first page. I adore when that happens. I couldn’t wait to keep on reading! The truth is, I love Diane Chamberlain’s writing and the way she creates such cinematic stories. While reading her books, you can picture everything in your head and easily imagine the story as a film. Her stories are always engaging and filled with “action” in the sense that you never ever get bored. There’s plenty of drama and twists and you care about the characters and what will happen to them.
The Stolen Marriage tells the story of a young woman called Tess DeMello who suddenly sees her life change completely after a weekend in Washington DC. I don’t want to say too much and I’ve already changed the blurb because I felt like it practically told you the whole story. Basically, Tess’s life does not go exactly the way she had planned it and she needs to come to terms with her new future: marriage, family, and friends.
This is a historical novel because it’s set in the 1940s, but it reads like contemporary fiction and I believe you don’t need to be into hist-fic in order to enjoy it. It is such an easy and delightful read, perfect for a cozy evening with a cup of hot chocolate and the sound of rain as your soundtrack. And admit it, all of us need one of those books every once in a while!
Even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as, for example, Necessary Lies, I’ll definitely read many more books by this author (I’m already planning on starting another one really soon). As for the secret, in my humble opinion, it was kind of a disappointment, and not because I guessed it -I actually shared the same suspicions as Hank’s mom- but because I didn’t really care about that part of the story.
Still, I loved Tess’s and really enjoyed reading about her journey, especially when she fought for what she wanted professionally. I wanted her to be happy, but did she achieve that? I guess you’ll have to read to find out…
ARC, Pan Macmillan , 2017