Lisa R. (Salem, OR)
Beautiful sense of place
I enjoyed this book, and felt like the author really gave me a sense of the family and the emotions. I also enjoyed the Jewish references, and how the family interacted with each other. Also the realistic depiction of the people - not everyone was sweetness and light, but they were more like the everyday people we know.
Diane S. (Batavia, IL)
The Imposter Bride
The title lends one to believe that this is a romance story, but I was very glad it was not. I found the closeness of the Canadian Jewish fascinating and felt that this author was at her best in her descriptive imagery. This is a novel about the after effects of war, relationships and new identities. Many of the characters were fascinating, Sol and Elka, Ida and Nathan himself. This was a pretty solid novel for lovers of historical fiction as well as those who just enjoy stories about family relationships.
Joan C. (Warwick, RI)
The Imposter Bride
Who is Lily? Is she who she says she is? She came to Canada as a "mail order bride" for Sol Kramer. Why does Sol reject her before he has even spoken to her? Why does his brother Nathan marry her?
The entire story of Lily Kramer is like filling a basket of unanswered question and you ask yourself: "when is the author going to fill in the blanks?" This novel offers much insight into the aftermath of WWII - how people from European countries relocated to a new continent, missing and lost relatives, starting over and becoming a part of the "brave new world" they were forced to adopt. Somewhere is all of this you find Lilly Kramer and her role in a "brave" new family. Through it all the reader is trying to answer provocative questions and make sense of Lily's actions. This is a story you must burrow into to find the answers to questions of how people transition in life and their resiliency in facing everyday life. Ironically, I discovered this story isn't really about Lilly at all, but about the people whose lives she affected.
Deanna W. (Port Jefferson, NY)
Who is Lily Azerov?
This is a novel filled with distinctive characters, complicated family relationships, and alternating points of view. It is not a "page-turner" but a thoughtful and touching story. I always enjoy historic fiction that takes me to another time and place (post WW II Montreal).
Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
It was a slog!
I read it all but it was a challenge. I am not too much for flashbacks and forth. I did like Ruthie but she could have done something earlier. The Jewish cultural elements were good to learn.
Duane F. (Cape Girardeau, MO)
The Imposter Wife
Nancy Richler presents the reader with a wonderful story of how families are the very soul of a person. She tenderly renders her characters so that we see their strengths and thus, also their weaknesses. These two families struggle with the identity of a young woman who arrives from Israel after World War II to marry a complete stranger she has only been introduced by a supposed cousin through correspondence. Today, this seems far from ideal. Yet in post WWII, it is the answer to any future at all for all too many survivors. The disaster which so many displaced Jews faced, causes many of the victims to have to prove their identity to find a way to survive the aftermath of the Holocaust and leave Germany. Most had survived horrendous circumstance, leaving them shattered, alone and desperate.
Enter, Lilly, a young woman spurned by the young man she thought would save her and help her build her new life. Amazingly, Sol's brother steps in and asks her to marry him instead. She agrees. One might think this book is now going to be about how she pines away after the man who left her to stand alone at the train station, but they would be wrong.
These two brothers both have fallen in love with her spirit and determination to overcome her humble and horrific past. She has traveled thousands of miles to arrive to be assimilated into their family.
Lilly, however has a secret that she feels would shock this family and change her her chances of acceptance. Upon this fact so turns the future of all. The choices this family makes with their heads, while not considering their hearts, isolates them all. Theirs is not a flaw of lies but rather of omissions. All too soon the walls will begin to shift and Lilly will be faced with a terrible decision that will haunt her new born daughter for the rest of her life.
I could not put this book down, I read it almost straight through. The character are so richly presented, the plot so well constructed and the ultimate outcome so beautifully told. I dog eared many pages and highlighted several passages. MS. Richler has given us a book filled with heart and wisdom and yet rings boldly the sound of reality.
This is a book I plan to present to both my book clubs. If it were published, it would on my gift list as well. Enjoy!
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
The Imposter Bride
I was hooked on this book from the minute I started reading until the satisfying end.
This was an excellent unfolding of a story from 2 different perspectives- first the actual story of " The Imposter Bride" and second the story through the eyes of the daughter she left behind.
The author has a beautiful way of making the characters come alive, and an interesting way of exploring relationships, particularly between mothers and daughters. The book is not action packed, instead it is a character driven story dealing with family in the aftermath of World War II, and there is a bit of mystery blended. All in all a very satisfying read.