The Imposter Bride

9781443404037The Imposter Bride

by Nancy Richler
ISBN 978-1-44340-403-7
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2012

Nancy Richler’s paternal grandmother immigrated to Canada expecting to marry upon her arrival. When she disembarked, however, the prospective groom rejected her. Richler’s grandmother’s story inspired The Imposter Bride.

A woman travelling under the name Lily Azerov arrives in Canada. At the train station she watches as the people around her meet loved ones and then disappear into the city of Montreal.  One by one the travellers dissipate until Lily stands alone. Her husband-to-be has seen her, and doesn’t want her.

The novel begins with the powerful emotions unearthed by rejection, strangeness in a strange land, and courage in the face of abandonment. As the novel unfolds, Richler explores how identity and origins, or lack of knowledge about them, affect us. Richler expertly manages her characters’ journeys through loss and re-discovery. Richler does jump points of view—occasionally we have to remind ourselves who is doing the thinking, or wonder why we know what someone is thinking—but it doesn’t disrupt the flow of the story.

Set in Jewish Montreal, this is a Canadian novel without the oppressive bleakness to which so many Canadian authors are prone. It explores the horrific repercussions of the Holocaust without heavy-handedness. It features heartbreak without despair and hope without sappiness. The sympathetic characters live a compelling story.

An enjoyable read.

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on January 30, 2013, in Book reviews, Books for the beach, Books I borrowed, Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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