Book Review : The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

October 5, 2017 Book review 14 ★★★★

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain describes how a community pulled together, and built an urgently needed polio hospital.  With engaging characters who grow stronger and stronger through adversity, it’s a book that pulls you in and inspires. I loved it!

Book Review :  The Stolen Marriage by Diane ChamberlainThe Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
Published by Pan Macmillan Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

From perennial bestseller Diane Chamberlain, a compelling new novel
In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and 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.
The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on.
When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. 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 her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

ARC REVIEW Historical Romance Tear Jerker

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them) and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.





The Assets of The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain:


  • Tess: Tess is the main character and the heart and soul of the book.  As a naïve young woman, she makes some rash decisions which results in losing her fiancé and family.  And trapped in a loveless marriage in a town that doesn’t want her.  But she is not a victim.  I loved that she fought for what she wanted, and never lost hope.
  • 1944 North Carolina setting:  Both the time and location settings felt so authentic.  I could picture this small town, the suspicious attitudes of the locals to an outsider, and the horrific black/white divide.  Plus I learnt so much about the polio epidemic which was something I knew very little about.
  • No evil husband:  I thought from reading the blurb, that maybe domestic abuse was involved.  I loved that her husband wasn’t a baddie, he was just wrong for Tess.  My heart ached for him as much as it did for Tess.
  • Emotional :  The plot and the characters touched me deeply, and I felt angry, sad, inspired, hurt and hopeful in equal measures.  Basically my emotional barometer was rising and falling all over the place.
  • The twist:  OMG, I loved the twist.  I immersed myself so completely into the lives and hearts of the characters, that I wasn’t thinking ahead to what might happen.  Then IT came and knocked the stuffing out of me.


The Liabilities of The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain:

  • I couldn’t put it down!  The only downside is that it stole hours of my life, as I just wanted to read and read and read, and lose myself in this fictional world.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Investment potential of The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain:

If you love well researched historical fiction, heartfelt plotlines and resilient characters, then you just might love this as much as I did.  I’d also recommend this to fans of previous books by Diane Chamberlain, or if you like authors such as Liane Moriarty or Kristan Hannah.

Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration.  As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.






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14 Responses to “Book Review : The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    Well, I do love a well researched historical and strong characters who show growth over the course of the story. And I like seeing a community pull together, too. So I guess I’m sold, Trish, even if this book is going to steal hours of my life. 😉

  2. Dawn obrien

    Great review! I love Diane chamberlain books, but I’ve not read this one yet, can’t wait to read it now…..looking forward to THAT twist!

  3. Karen Blue

    I have heard so many things about this book. I am really sorry I haven’t read it yet. Fantastic review! I love the way you break it down into reasons to read it and what you liked and didn’t like about it.

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