The story follows Tess DeMello who is a 23 year old girl living in Little Italy, Baltimore, MD. She has been madly in love with her boyfriend Vincent since they were teenagers. They are engaged to be married and their families are thrilled. Vincent has just completed his residency at John’s Hopkins and now he is Dr. Vincent Russo M.D. and Tess is preparing to graduate from nursing school. They are both preparing for their happily-ever-after!
How does Tess suddenly end up in Hickory, North Carolina? Whose marriage was stolen? Why does she marry a complete stranger? She is stuck in a loveless marriage and her life has taken a direction that she never wanted. Her new husband Henry is a wealthy man and his family has given Tess a very cold reception. They question her motives. Tess soon discovers that Henry has secrets of his own and while he is kind to her, they have no real marriage.
When a polio epidemic strikes Hickory, Tess finds herself questioning the choices she has made and tries to forgive herself for the events that caused her life to spin out of control. The end was a bit predictable, but an interesting and enjoyable book!
From perennial bestseller Diane Chamberlain, a compelling new novel
In 1944, twenty-three-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, a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s 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. 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, 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, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. 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 alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?
Publication date is October 3, 2017
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