Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Imposter Bride

I recently read The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler. This is a book that I might not have picked up on my own, but I was pleasantly surprised by the novel. 

In a nutshell, the book is about a Jewish woman that survives WWII, steals another woman’s identity for an opportunity to step into an arranged marriage in Canada, and then later runs away from her new family when she is not able to cope with her memories. However, that is all fairly clear in the first few chapters. What the book is really about, when you get into the meat of the story, is familial relationships. No one really holds the imposter, Lily, accountable because of the war and what people did to survive, but her brief intrusion into this close knit family creates new responsibilities for unlikely people. 
During the brief marriage, Lily has a daughter, Ruth. Being motherless is something that haunts Ruth growing up, but it isn't until she begins receiving rocks from various places in Canada that her interest in finding and knowing her mother is piqued. Growing up over many years we are with Ruth as she questions her grandmothers, scopes out phone books, and goes through her father's things for clues. It isn't until she's a mother herself that she makes the leap to seriously track down and meet Lily.
A good read that doesn't disappoint. I think that most lovers of historical fiction and women’s literature would also enjoy the book. You get a fully developed story that begins and ends with the imposter bride, but at the center is a coming-of-age story and the history of a family. 

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