Christine's Reviews > The Stolen Marriage

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
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it was amazing
bookshelves: asked-to-review, ebooks, historical-fiction, net-galley
Recommended to Christine by: Net Galley invitation from publisher

4.5 stars (rounded to 5 stars)

This is my third Diane Chamberlain novel, and I have to say she writes fiction as well as anyone I’ve read. I could easily get in a rut and read several Chamberlain stories in a row. It’s been about a year since I read my last one; it won’t take nearly that long for me to read my next.

The story is set in the mid 1940s, first in Baltimore, then in the town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess DeMello had a good thing going. She had a wonderful fiancé, a budding career, a loving mother, her church, and a hometown she loved. Then she made a mistake that would change things forever. Stolen Marriage is a compelling story about regrets, deception, heartache, strength, and redemption. It is also a powerful tale of prejudice, privilege of the rich, forbidden love, fierce loyalty, and the pulling together of a community to save many lives.

Stolen Marriage is written in first person from Tess’s perspective. Ms. Chamberlain does a stellar job in developing Tess and letting us in on the roller coaster ride of her thoughts and emotions. For many reasons Tess is not welcome in Hickory. I admired the way she didn’t wallow in the circumstances of her own making, but forged on, doing everything she could to make the best of a bad situation. The tale is full of intriguing characters. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft is a well-respected businessman, but his actions are curious and his motives are not clear. Henry’s mother Ruth and his sister Lucy have their own agendas, and they do not include having Tess as a member of the family. We also are introduced to Reverend Sam and a bit of paranormal imagery. Then there is sweet Hattie and Honor, Zeke and little Jilly amongst an array of other townspeople.

Playing a large part in the story is the hospital for polio victims set up in Hickory in an astounding 54 hours when the emergent need arose. Much of this section is based on fact and is clearly well researched. Learning about the way the epidemic was handled back then was fascinating. It was a nice change to read and learn about a crisis other than the war from that time period.

The plot turns in the story were well done. I thought I had things figured out on several occasions, but the twists kept coming. The ending was very satisfying, and I appreciated the epilogue, which takes place ten years later.

I found Stolen Marriage to be very inspiring. This gets a lot of points in my book. The only thing keeping it from a full 5 stars is that I wish Vincent had been more fleshed out. I didn’t feel I knew enough about him and his history with Tess to fully feel their relationship.

Overall, Stolen Marriage was a captivating read. Kudos to Ms. Chamberlain for being able to write such a quality book so far into her career (and without a co-author, lol). This novel is highly recommended for everyone. I look forward to reading many more of Ms. Chamberlain’s novels.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for inviting me to read an ARC through Net Galley. Opinions expressed are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
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Reading Progress

July 25, 2017 – Shelved
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: asked-to-review
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: ebooks
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
July 25, 2017 – Shelved as: net-galley
August 14, 2017 – Started Reading
August 16, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)


message 1: by Marty (new)

Marty Fried Your review makes it sound like a good book, but one thing I wonder about, which may be a little shallow of me: I notice that every review I see is from a woman; would a mere male enjoy this book, too? OK, I'm somewhat kidding, but it does seem unusual that only women seem to be reviewing it.


Carol (Bookaria) Glad you enjoyed it Christine!


Holly  B Glad you loved this one Christine!


message 4: by Maureen (new) - added it

Maureen Carden A stellar job as usual.


Diane S ☔ Will be reading soon, enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, Christine.


Christine Marty wrote: "Your review makes it sound like a good book, but one thing I wonder about, which may be a little shallow of me: I notice that every review I see is from a woman; would a mere male enjoy this book, ..."

Hey Marty, a lot of people refer to her work as women's fiction, as there is a lot of feelings involved. I do like my "feelings" books, but appreciate a strong plot as well. I think this book has both. I have seen good reviews from men on this type of book, but I think a lot of men like less feelings and more action in their reads. Now my brother likes chick flicks among other things, and he is definitely all boy, so go figure! It this book appeals to you at all, try it. I would love to see your reaction!


Christine Diane S ☔ wrote: "Will be reading soon, enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, Christine."

Diane S ☔ wrote: "Will be reading soon, enjoyed reading your thoughts on this, Christine."

Maureen wrote: "A stellar job as usual."

Holly wrote: "Glad you loved this one Christine!"

Carol (Bookaria) wrote: "Glad you enjoyed it Christine!"

Carol, Holly, Maureen, and Diane, Thanks so much for reading and for your nice words!


message 8: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Clemence So glad you loved this one, Christine! Diane Chamberlain is definitely a fantastic author! Hopefully I'll get the chance to read this one soon.


Jaline - (on 2/3 hiatus) Fabulous review, Christine!


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Ohhh this sounds amazing!


Christine Erin wrote: "So glad you loved this one, Christine! Diane Chamberlain is definitely a fantastic author! Hopefully I'll get the chance to read this one soon."

Thanks, Erin. I definitely hope you can get to it!


Christine Jaline wrote: "Fabulous review, Christine!"

Thanks, Jaline! XO


Christine Shelby *trains flying monkeys* wrote: "Ohhh this sounds amazing!"

It's a goody, Shelbs!


Norma * Traveling Sister Wonderful review, Christine! I really want to read this so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it! :-)


Christine Norma wrote: "Wonderful review, Christine! I really want to read this so I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it! :-)"

Thanks, Norma! I can't wait to see what the sisters think!!


Sheyla ✎ This is on my to do list..Glad you liked it.


Christine I hope you enjoy it too, Sheyla!


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Stellar review Christine! I haven't tried this author yet or this genre. I have read historical mysteries. I have the book The Silent Wife by her. I need to read that one. I am now going to Overdrive and try to score this book.


Brenda - Traveling Sister Excellent review, Christine! So glad to see this was a good one for you. I have it and hope to get to it soon.


Christine Mary wrote: "Stellar review Christine! I haven't tried this author yet or this genre. I have read historical mysteries. I have the book The Silent Wife by her. I need to read that one. I am now going to Overdri..."

Thanks, Mary! It's on Net Galley. Oh, and I loved The Silent Sister.


message 21: by Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* (last edited Aug 17, 2017 07:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Oh great to know that its still on Netgalley. Heading there now. Haha! You knew what I meant The Silent Sister. Oops! Glad you loved it, checking out your review now too.


message 22: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Camp Wonderfully written review, Christine!


message 23: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Looking forward to this one! Great review!


Christine Stacey wrote: "Wonderfully written review, Christine!"

Thanks, Stacey!


Christine Jen wrote: "Looking forward to this one! Great review!"

Really hope you love it, Jen!


message 26: by David (new)

David Staniforth Great review, Chris. A very popular author that I've never even glanced at. I may have to change that at some point :-)


message 27: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue Wonderful review, Christine! Will be reading it soon.


message 28: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Excellent review, Christine. Glad to see you enjoyed this one and I shall look forward to getting my greedy little hands on it as well.


message 29: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Lovely review, Christine! I've only read one other of her books, but I'm hoping to get around to some others. Sounds like this one should be next. :)


Christine David wrote: "Great review, Chris. A very popular author that I've never even glanced at. I may have to change that at some point :-)"

Thanks, David. She is a standout.


Christine Sue wrote: "Wonderful review, Christine! Will be reading it soon."

Thanks, Sue!


Christine Mike wrote: "Excellent review, Christine. Glad to see you enjoyed this one and I shall look forward to getting my greedy little hands on it as well."

Thank you, Mike!


Christine Melissa wrote: "Lovely review, Christine! I've only read one other of her books, but I'm hoping to get around to some others. Sounds like this one should be next. :)"

Thanks, Melissa. She has a ton of what looks like wonderful books!


Tracy Quarrell Great review Christine. The retelling of the polio epidemic was fascinating. I had a summer where I did binge read lots of Diane C books. The midwife's confession is one of my favourites. She does write well for women, I wonder if men do enjoy her books too?


message 35: by Christine (last edited Aug 31, 2017 06:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine Thanks, Tracy! I agree 100% about the polio issue. Inlove opit if I can be entertained and educated at the same time. Midwife's Confession is definitely on my list. I hope to get to it sometime this year! Would men like her books? I do think some of them would if they don't immediately reject her novels as "women's fiction." Her books are meaty!


message 36: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Brilliant review Christine! I have never read anything by Diane Chamberlin - and I've seen such great reviews for this book - yours is so good it makes me want to request this book from NG. Awesome job!


Angela M Terrific review, Christine. Looking forward to this one.


message 38: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Wonderful review, Christine! Maybe I need to move this one up. I've never read anything by her. Sounds like I'm in for a treat.


Christine Susanne wrote: "Brilliant review Christine! I have never read anything by Diane Chamberlin - and I've seen such great reviews for this book - yours is so good it makes me want to request this book from NG. Awesome..."

Thank you so much, Susanne. She writes really wonderful stories with a lot of depth. I hope you do give her a try!


Christine Angela M wrote: "Terrific review, Christine. Looking forward to this one."

Thanks, Angela. I will eagerly watch for your review!


Christine Debbie wrote: "Wonderful review, Christine! Maybe I need to move this one up. I've never read anything by her. Sounds like I'm in for a treat."

Thanks, Debbie. She is definictely worth a try. I am so excited that I have so many more to chooose from!!


message 42: by Crumb (new) - added it

Crumb Fantastic review, Christine!


message 43: by Cameron (new)

Cameron Wiggins Another stellar review my friend!


Christine Crumb wrote: "Fantastic review, Christine!"<

Thanks, Crumb!



Christine Cameron wrote: "Another stellar review my friend!"

Hi Cambo! Thanks for the kind words!


message 46: by Marwan (new)

Marwan Wonderful review, Christine.


message 47: by Jan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jan Glad this one worked for you girlfriend, solid review! Not so much for me unfortunately...I can't break this 3 star curse


Christine Jan wrote: "Glad this one worked for you girlfriend, solid review! Not so much for me unfortunately...I can't break this 3 star curse"

Oh no, Jan! you need to find yourself a 5 star stat!


Deanna Wonderful review, Christine! I really enjoyed this one too. She's definitely one of my favorite authors. So glad you enjoyed it :)


Christine Thanks, D. I have only read 3 of her books and am anxious for more!!


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