This is the engrossing and highly readable story of "Lily Azerov" who has fled Eastern Europe after the turmoil and horror of the Second World War. In Palestine, she makes arrangements to marry a Canadian Jew, Sol Kramer. Sol, however, detects something not quite right beneath Lily's calm exterior. He decides not to marry her, but his brother Nathan does. However, all does not proceed smoothly: some of the actual Lily's Canadian relatives show up at the wedding and realize that this woman is impersonating their cousin. The imposter bride appears to have assumed Lily's identity in an attempt to escape the trauma and horror of her war experience. Not long after, the young wife, apparently fearing exposure by the true Lily's cousin, Ida, flees Montreal, her marriage, and her three-month old child, not knowing that Ida has her own painful past and no intention of calling this damaged young woman on her assumed identity.
The book largely focuses on the growing determination of Lily's daughter Ruth, who has grown up motherless, to find her mother and uncover the secret of her past. All she has to go on are the beautiful rocks her mother has sent her at irregular intervals over the years since Ruth was six, an uncut diamond, and Lily Azerov's journal, which was appropriated by the "imposter bride" somewhere along the way.
Author Richler has woven a richly rewarding novel of character,family, secrets, and history. In the Imposter Bride, she explores the deeply and uniquely human need to discover where we come from. Highly recommended.