Author: Nancy Richler
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In the wake of World War II, a young, enigmatic woman named Lily arrives in Montreal on her own, expecting to be married to a man she’s never met. But, upon seeing her at the train station, Sol Kramer turns her down. Out of pity, his brother Nathan decides to marry her instead, and pity turns into a deep—and doomed—love. It is immediately clear that Lily is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters when she disappears, leaving a new husband and a baby daughter with only a diary, a large uncut diamond – and a need to find the truth
Who is Lily and what happened to the young woman whose identity she stole? Why has she left and where did she go? It's up to the daughter Lily abandoned to find the answers to these questions, as she searches for the mother she may never find or truly know.
My Thoughts on the Book
A very powerful and compelling story.
This book opens on Lily a Jewish woman who has fled from Europe to Canada after WWII. She is arriving in Canada to meet her future husband (arrange marriage) but when she comes face to face with him he rejects her. His brother ends up marrying her but Lily has deep emotional scars from the war and everything she's endure and it affects every aspect of her life which prompts her to leave her husband and daughter. The daughter's life is shadowed by this abandonment her entire life.
This story is told from the POV of many people in this family. It goes from Lily's perspective after arriving, to her daughter's POV as she moves through life as a child who's mother left her, to her grandmother's view of life and Lily, to a future family member Ida Pearl who has a connection to Lily from the moment she arrived in Canada.
In the end, this story is about family, love, life after war and the ability to forgive. I was taken from this story from the beginning and never one became bored with it's telling. To me it was a beautiful story, a sad story, and a thoughtful story into the lives of many people who have endured the most horrific hardships life has to offer.