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The Stolen Marriage

Narrated by: Susan Bennett
Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (384 ratings)

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Summary

The Stolen Marriage is a compelling audiobook from Diane Chamberlain, the best-selling author of The Silent Sister, Pretending to Dance and The Midwife's Confession.

In 1944, 23-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory is a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess' new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she's trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out.

The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town's prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed for the death. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift in a hostile town, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her - a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he's letting on.

When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, taking the lives of some of its children, including a boy well known to the Kraft family, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital in less than three days. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry's wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry's actions grow more baffling and alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband's mysterious behaviour and save her own life?

©2017 Diane Chamberlain (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Stolen Marriage

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Completely threw me. Loved it!

Bought this book as a trial of a new author and to try a different genre from Crime & Thrillers. Didn’t know what to expect as I’m quite picky on narrators, but I loved it. Had everything in it you could want in a story and had me gripped to the very end. Lovely narration too. Quite sad I’ve finished it.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Could not stop listening

I did guess the ending, but loved the story. Something a bit different. Now what is my next listen to .

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Compelling heart candy

I kept listening, all the while aware that perhaps this was not high literature. I didn't care, the story was great. A tad unbelievable, a bit syrupy in places. The heroine was too goody goody, and sometimes I wanted to give her a kick up the backside for being pathetic, but you couldn't help rooting for her.
It was my first book by this author and I just know I will read more of them.

3 people found this helpful

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1940’s bigoted America

I am not a fan of American narratorr’s, but seeing as this is set in the USA it was fitting. Susan Bennett was a good reader and did not have that irritating twang and nasal tones.

This book centred about Tess’s one mistake which then lead to lots of poor decisions being made. Despite her problems she saw that her issues were small compared to those bigots around her, and so got on with her life and tried to make the best but never forgetting her roots or past.

This books is a little syrupy in parts but still had a good impact as it was based around the true story of the Polio hospital in Hickory at the time.

I am not sure I would race back to another Diane Chamberlain but I would certainly try something in the future I think.

Basing my views on what the summary of the book and the narration, it did deliver everything it promised, hence the five stars.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth a listen

As deal of the day i bought this. it was not my usual preferred genre but a most enjoyable listen. Covered some difficult subjects in a compassionate manner. I’m pleased I bought it & recommend this, a partially factual book.

2 people found this helpful

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Hard to switch off

This is the 3rd Diane Chamberlain book I've read/listened to. As with the others, this one is riveting. She clearly researches her subject thoroughly in order to take you to a different time and place. The reader gets a good idea of attitudes towards different subjects in the 1940s (namely race and class but also WWII and the polio epidemic as well). I figured out the main plot twist, but that didn't stop me from listening until all hours and there were other surprises along the way. My only real criticism is that I didn't get the depth of emotion from the main character that I felt she would have experienced. The narrator did a good job in portraying her, as per the book, but there were times in the story where I was actually crying and wondering why the character wasn't!

1 person found this helpful

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amaizing book full of surprises in every chapter

couldnt wait until i had free time to listen to it ,when driving to work or going to bed .

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

First time reading a book like this one I normally go more for crime! I loved it, finished it in two days, very well written and performed definitely worth a read!

1 person found this helpful

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Keep going - this story grows on you

At first I found this story very irritating: the heroine seemed weak and easily led, but as the story progressed, it became much more interesting. I spotted a couple of the plot twists in advance, but it was fun being right! It is amazing to see how social attitudes have changed in America over the past 70 years. The plot could just as easily have been set in late 19th century North Carolina as in the 1940’s, but it would be unthinkable now. It was interesting to learn that the story is based on true facts around the Annual polio epidemics that plagued America every summer until the vaccine was discovered.

1 person found this helpful

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A lucky find

This was not my usual diet of crime and thriller and I am always wary of very "pink" books. This was gentler fodder but well written about an age that was cruel, genteel, intolerant and confused. It was well narrated, well written and very interesting as a comparison to life today.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Green Owl
  • 18-06-20

One of the best Historical Fiction.

Brilliant narration with strong plot. As the chapters progressed, it got more intense and intriguing!