Rated of 5
by Sarah W. (Lufkin, TX)
The Imposter Bride
The Imposter Bride is a story of a family. Lily Azerov has immigrated to Montreal to marry a man she doesn't know. He takes one look at her and refuses to marry her. His brother, Nathan, comes to apologize but on seeing Lily decides to marry her. They marry and live with his mother until he is financially able to afford an apartment.
The story is told alternately by Lily; her daughter, Ruthie, whom she leaves when Ruthie is three months old; and a third person. Ruthie is lovingly cared for by her father and Elka, Nathan's sister-in-law who becomes her surrogate mother, his mother Bella, and Elka's mother, Ida Pearl.
When Ruthie is six years old she receives a package containing a piece of quartz and a note in her mother's handwriting telling where and when she picked up the rock. For the first time Ruthie begins to wonder about the woman who is her mother. Over the years she receives more rocks and with each her curiosity grows: where is her mother and why is she sending her the rocks?
Of the large cast of characters, Lily and Ruthie are the most vividly formed. The author provides this cast of characters to help tell the story. Throughout the novel we want to know who Lily is, why did she take on another's identity, why did she leave, will Ruthie ever find her, and why did she send rocks to Ruthie?
The main themes of the story are loss and family relationships. It is the opinion of this reviewer that many plot elements and scenes could easily have been left out without taking away from the overall story. The author does, however, manage in the end to make sense of the characters and events.
I would recommend the book to book clubs, especially those made up of women. They would probably want to discuss Lily, and Elka, Ida Pearl and Bella to see what they really added to the story and what their backgrounds were. And they would probably want to empathize with Ruthie, take her character apart, literally, and putting it back together with a better understanding of her.
I enjoyed the book even though it wasn't easy skipping from one narrator to the next. I would recommend the book to libraries, book clubs, and friends.