Review: The Imposter Bride

The Imposter Bride
Nancy Richler
2012
HarperCollins
978-1-44340-402-0

When Lily Azerov arrives in Montreal after World War II, she expects to marry Sol Kramer. However, after Sol has a change of heart, Lily marries his brother, Nathan, instead. But an uninvited guest at their wedding knows Lily is not who she claims to be. One day, Lily disappears suddenly, leaving behind her baby daughter, a notebook, and an uncut diamond. As she grows up, Lily’s daughter, Ruth, tries to figure out exactly who her mother was and what happened to the woman whose identity she stole.

I had mixed feelings upon finishing this book. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding Lily and finding out little by little who she really was and how she found herself in Montreal in 1946. However, I did feel part of the mystery wasn’t really explained. At various points in her childhood Ruth receives packages from her mother containing rocks, with an index card noting the location where the rock was found, the time, date, and weather conditions. We never find out the significance of these rocks, if any. It seems an odd way for a woman to communicate with the daughter she left behind but we never know why she did this. Maybe I’m just not a fan of loose ends, but I found this to be a let-down after all the buildup throughout what was otherwise a highly enjoyable novel. The Imposter Bride was short listed for the 2012 Giller Prize.

 

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