Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 2013
Categories: Jewish, Historical Fiction
In the wake of World War II, a young, enigmatic woman named Lily arrives in Montreal on her own, expecting to be married to a man she’s never met. But, upon seeing her at the train station, Sol Kramer turns her down. Out of pity, his brother Nathan decides to marry her instead, and pity turns into a deep—and doomed—love. It is immediately clear that Lily is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters when she disappears, leaving a new husband and a baby daughter with only a diary, a large uncut diamond – and a need to find the truth.
Who is Lily and what happened to the young woman whose identity she stole? Why has she left and where did she go? It’s up to the daughter Lily abandoned to find the answers to these questions, as she searches for the mother she may never find or truly know.
I found The Imposter Bride to be an engaging and character driven book. The story can be quite bleak but the characters kept me reading.
The story is told in alternating chapters by Lily and her daughter Ruth. Even though the book begins with Lily the story really belongs to Ruth. She is only an infant when her mother abandons the family and she grows up knowing little to nothing about her. Ruth is surrounded by family members that love and care for her but more than anything she wants to know about her mother. Why did she leave? What was her real name? Where is she now?
All Ruth has of her mother are the few things she left behind and a lot of questions. This book is about her search for answers.
This book is quiet and powerful. It reminded me that family can come in many different forms.
The Imposter Bride was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2012.