Rated of 5
by 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!