The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

It's 1943, and Tess, from Baltimore's Little Italy, is eagerly anticipating her marriage to her physician fiancee Vincent. Her hopes are put on hold when Vincent heads off out of town to treat polio patients. On an impromptu excursion to Washington, D.C., Tess has too many martinis, resulting in a one-night stand with a chance acquaintance, called Henry, which results in a pregnancy. She looks to Henry for child support but he proposes marriage instead.

Once married to Henry and ensconced in his family mansion in Hickory, North Carolina, Tess gets a frosty reception from Henry's mother, Miss Ruth, and his sister, Lucy, not to mention the other ladies of Hickory, especially Violet, who thought she was Henry's fiancee.

Tess feels isolated and seeks out the friendship of a medium to help her make peace with many unquiet spirits: including the baby which did not make it to full-term. Tess trains as a nurse and gets involved in assisting with the polio epidemic.

There are hints and revelation of a back story about Henry but not until the end do we discover his secret.

This is a sweeping saga filled with loss and self-determination and sacrifice. Filled with many genuine and endearing characters I found it an easy read, as the blend of historical facts, suspense and great story telling is just right. The paranormal element adds a little of something different- a very enjoyable read. 

Submitted by Paula