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, leaving a new husband and baby daughter, and a host of unanswered questions. Who is she really and what happened to the young woman whose identity she has stolen? Why has she left and where did she go? It is left to the daughter she abandoned to find the answers to these questions as she searches for the mother she may never find or really know.
This was a serious and sombre story that seemed more like a character study than a plot driven novel. It is told in alternating chapters from Lily and Ruth. Lily’s chapters focus on her life after she first arrived in Canada, and Ruth’s chapters focus on her life without her mother and her continuing search for her.
Both Ruth and Lily were fully developed characters who drew you in. The whole time I was reading, I wanted to know more about Lily. Who was she really? Why did she leave? Would Ruth ever find her?
These questions kept me intrigued for the whole story. Once the answers were revealed, and they were to a satisfying degree, I was a bit disappointed, but still happy to know the answers. I expected more drama than what I got, but the mystery of the book was quite compelling.
It has been a while since I read a sad and sombre story that was still satisfying, but this one did it. The Canadian setting was enchanting and the characters were easy to like while still being mysterious. Overall, this was a story that will intrigue and sadden you.
Challenges read for:
Canadian Book Challenge 5
2012 Ebook Challenge