My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I finished Diane Chamberlain's new novel, "The Stolen Marriage" late the other night; I simply couldn't stop reading until I turned the last page at 4 AM. Yesterday, I was so lost in a post-reading reverie ("book hangover?") that I forgot to go to an appointment I had at 5 PM. I am a great fan of Diane Chamberlain and have read and loved most of her books; however, "The Stolen Marriage" moves her up to the next level--from the Kristin Hannah/Barbara Delinsky crowd to the Chris Bohjalian/Wally Lamb/Curtis Sittenfeld realm. Based loosely on a true story, this powerful book is the real deal - a brilliantly-crafted, well-plotted, and flawlessly researched novel that will not disappoint any reader who loves suspense in a family setting.
Set in 1944, the storyline revolves around three major issues of the era: the taboo of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, the laws against interracial marriage, and the epidemic of infantile paralysis (polio). Chamberlain's tightly-woven plot kept me turning pages. "The Stolen Marriage" is replete with multi-dimensional characters who are certainly not who they seem to be, but I won't disclose the ending. I will say that the twist outdid Jodi Picoult. I commend Diane Chamberlain on her graduation to the next league of literary fiction writers. Highly recommended!
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