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text Ø The Imposter Bride Õ Nancy Richler

When a young enigmatic woman arrives in post war Montreal it is immediately clear that she is not who she claims to be Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters as she I think Nancy Richler wanted to write a good book The Impostor Bride dances around being good but lacks rhythm and grace and so slouches awkwardly around the dance floor making it awkward for everyone reading but the effort at goodness is altogether too sincere to turn away The plot offers originality a war bride shows up in Canada is scorned by her betrothed because he sees “something” amiss in her she marries his brother gives birth abandons the child and runs away We learn over the course of the novel the practical reasons for her abandonment the titular “impostor” and are meant I think to also contemplate the psychic and affective reasons she might also leave The book makes a sincere attempt to point the finger at the oft suggested “unspeakable” atrocities of the Holocaust as being “too much” for the young bride but without entering these events or even shadows of them into the plot and without offering Lily’s narrative point of view even a third person limited would have gone a long way these “unspeakable” reasons are left to the reader’s speculation and are not as Richler might have hoped compelling enough to justify the abandonment of a child Indeed our first person protagonist the abandoned daughter rightly points out that many of her peers have parents of this generation of “unspeakable” events who did not leave even if they do exhibit erratic behaviour so why did her mother leaveFor this reason the plot events that supposedly explain the abandonment do not hold water Nor does the eventual explanation of how members of her family knew and didn’t tell her Nor too the hastily and inexpertly constructed reunion scene not a spoiler I think because the progression of the plot is such that it can only resolve in a reunion A note on the reunion as it particularly irked me as it’s the climax and the apparent justification for so much weaving in and out of time we’re meant to get here not only were the scenes rushed especially when contrasted with the earlier scenes that explore in great length everything from depressed smoking to school yard bickering but the explanation offered by Lily which is in effect the explanation of “I have no explanation” would be fine indeed it would be complicated and profound if we had Ruth do something with the explanation think something about it reflect on it reject it respond react Instead we witness the reunion hear the paltry account of why she left find no explanation of the mysterious rocks hear nothing of Ruth’s reaction or thoughts A plot climax without an attendant climax in character development or theme And a frustrating plot climax at that because it doesn’t bring a satisfactory explanation maybe because there isn’t one not that there isn’t in the world but because Richler hadn’t imagined what that could beAnd so I wanted to like The Impostor Bride it had all the elements of Can Lit that I adore historical fiction strong female protagonists World War Two family drama And yet it’s not a book I’d ever take on a second date far too awkward for the effort

text The Imposter Bride

The Imposter BrideDisappears leaving a new husband and baby daughter and a host of unanswered uestions Who is she really and what happened to the young woman whose identity she has stolen Why has she l This fine novel set mostly in Montreal with segments from Poland and from Thunder Bay is another on the short list for the 2012 Giller Prize in Canada Unlike the other three novels on the list this is a uiet and textured exploration of family interaction less dramatic and expansive than Ru or 419 or Inside The Imposter Bride is a reflective and introspective probing of the impact on a young woman of her mother's unexplained desertion shortly after her birth There is a uiet depth and sensitivity to the writing and a focus on time and place that makes this novel at once commonplace yet powerfulA Polish woman who calls herself Lily Azerov comes to Montreal after World War Two marries into a family in the close knit Jewish community there gradually tries to escape from her war time nightmares and has a child Ruth an all too common story in the post Holocaust world Then suddenly stepping out to buy a bottle of milk she departs leaving her husband a note of apology Why has she gone How has this come to pass And what are the results for her daughter and the family she leaves This could be a drama a story of suspense and danger yet Richler does something interesting than that She presents instead a careful dissection of how Ruth over the years grapples with what seems a profound rejection that turns her life toward a conformist effort to find affirmation in a conventional life Ruth's story in turn gradually becomes the vehicle by which the enigma of Lily is ultimately unfolded and Lily's story comes to be seen in many respects as the antithesis of Ruth's Lily's life it becomes clear is one of passion of defying the odds of survival despite immense dangers an unconventional life that she could not it turned out carry forward in the close family confines in Montreal What are the implications of this juxtaposition of the two lives of mother and daughter For me that's a fascinating uestion What does Ruth make of the life that Lily in the end reveals to her How does Lily feel about the much safer world that Ruth has built for herselfWith her skills and sensitivity I wanted to see Richler confront these uestions But she does not She writes her story and she writes it well But Ruth remains a character with depths that remain unexplored There is a tension suggested with her husband but this is not pursued in the book Lily too remains an unfinished character for me never really addressing the reality of her daughter despite the insight we develop into why she left MontrealIt is of course easy to say that I wanted another 100 pages in a book already 350 pages long But Nancy Richler has written this novel so well she conveys such sensitivity and understanding of family that I feel justified in demanding even while recognizing how much this author has given us in this excellent book

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Nancy Richler Õ The Imposter Bride pdf

read The Imposter Bride doc Å Hardcover Á ❴Reading❵ ➿ The Imposter Bride Author Nancy Richler – Dogsalonbristol.co.uk When a young enigmatic woman arrives in post war Montreal it is immediately clear that she is not who she claims to be Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters as she disappears leEft and where did she go It is left to the daughter The Imposter PDF she abandoned to find the answers to these uestions as she searches for the mother she may never find or really kn “I never really knew her I said But you loved her Ida answered and again I wasn't sure if she meant that as an accusation or comfort Was it less important or important to know someone than to love them” ― Nancy Richler The Imposter BrideI have several GR friends named Carolyn and thanks goes out to the Carolyn who reviews this book because she put it into words far better then I ever couldSo I did DNF this I read for awhile andjust did not fel much of anything I could not connect with it and felt no tensionSometimes books are just not the right book at the right time so that is always possible But for meI uit about a uarter of the way inI am sure many have read books that sound on paper like they will be instant classics in your mind And then been let down So that is sort of what happened to meI loved the premise It reminded me of My cousin Rachel or Reliable Wife Those are two books I adored so the subject was for meAnd at first I loved the descriptive writing of the time periodBut the book did not read like a mystery It was slow going and the characters seemed flat I could not connectThe book is much darker then I had thought it would be which would usually be OK but it was not Gothic dark I did not feel any mysteryIt seems to me a family saga then anything elseI may pick it up at a later time as I have done that with some books and come to love them