In 1944, Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life, marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night and Tess quickly comes to realize that she is now trapped in a strange and loveless marriage.The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not?
When a polio epidemic strikes the town, taking the lives of some of its children, the townspeople band together to quickly build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital. As Henry’s actions grow more baffling and alarming by the day, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behaviour and save her own life?
RATING: ♦♦♦♦♦ / 5
When I started reading this book, I honestly thought that it would be something very much average & it’ll drag out & I’ll take at least a few days to finish this. Believe it or not, I finished this in one day, despite the fact that I was super busy & had back to back lectures from 8am to 6pm. It was really good & I just didn’t want to stop reading it.
It is set in the 1940s & hence it is considered historical fiction, and for some reason I just keep getting attracted to books of this genre.
This is a story that is very much complete and I love stories like that. I love stories where everything comes full circle & things just make sense. The best part about this book was the ending; it was so satisfying & just gave me this warm, fuzzy feeling of happiness. Books with gratifying endings are rare gems & I believe this is one of those gems.
The story itself explores so many different elements, such as love, friendship, racism, illness, society & it’s rules, and most importantly the essence of marriage and everything that comes with it. This probably will sound super cheesy, but it also emphasises on love, true love to be more specific & how issues like societal barriers and broken trust and believes as such don’t end the relationship. They might momentarily derail the bond, but they don’t break it. If it’s true love, you manage to cross the bridge, regardless of whatever obstacles are in your path.
The phrase “whatever happens, happens for a reason”, is proven to be so very true in this novel. Simply put, I really loved this book & I feel like it definitely did leave an impression on me. These few words don’t even remotely do justice to the essence of this book. It is truly a beautiful novel.