The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler (Tantor)

2014 Audie Finalist for Fiction

Library Journal starred review

Richler opens her engrossing, multilayered tale in 1946. Lily Azerof has come to Montreal only to be spurned by the man she arranged via correspondence to marry. Impulsively, her fiancé’s brother, Nathan Kramer, decides to marry Lily himself. Nathan’s friends and neighbors would be rejoicing for him if it were not that Lily’s identity is false and she possesses a diamond and journal whose owner vanished in wartime Poland. Lily subsequently abandons Nathan and their baby, Ruth, leaving the family with a dilemma: When, if ever, should they disclose their revelations about Lily’s past to her daughter? Narrator Tavia Gilbert, adept in voicing Ruth at different ages, masterfully evokes the depth and endurance of a community where all have suffered and surmounted crushing losses. Blending well-written prose, nuanced characters, a postwar setting, and a gripping mystery, this audio will have wide appeal. Verdict: Highly recommended for all audio collections. Library Journal

Tavia Gilbert’s performance of this audiobook is strong and easy to absorb. The imposter of the title is a mystery woman who has taken the identity of another, and taken her place in Montreal after leaving Europe in the wake of WWII. Gilbert narrates the novel with skill and verve, infusing the characters with their own voices and inflections. On the whole, the story is interesting but slow paced, and even Gilbert’s gifts can’t make up for the inconsistent narrative. Still, some listeners may get swept up in the mystery of Lily and the choices she makes. A likable performance goes a long way, and Gilbert’s compassion toward her characters is appealing. AudioFile