Review: Stranger in My Arms

Review: Stranger in My ArmsStranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas
Published by HarperCollins e-books on October 13th 2009
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384

“Lady Hawksworth, your husband is not dead.”

FINAL DECISION: An enjoyable read that had a Gothic feel to it. The story was more intellectual than full of heart, but I enjoyed the experience of Lara’s uneasiness to the man who has returned to her and the two of them falling in love.

THE STORY: After two years of a miserable marriage, Lara was happy to see her husband go off to India. When she learned of his death, she was finally able to live her own life. Now a year later, she is told that her husband has returned. Lara is at first convinced that the man must be an impostor. But he knows things that only her husband could know. He is, however, not the man who left her. Hunter claims that his near death experience has changed him. The question is whether the man who returned to her is her husband or a stranger.

OPINION: This was an interesting book. A story that raises the issue of whether someone can change and whether a woman can begin to dream again.

This book is clearly an exercise in twisting back and forth over whether Hunter is actually Lara’s husband or an impostor. But it also raises the issue of whether it is possible for a person to change and become a “stranger” to his old life.

This book feels more Gothic than I expected. Who is this man? What is his purpose? Or is this actually Lara’s husband and her doubts and lack of trust are just blinding her to his identity. I liked the intellectual and mysterious elements in this story. And this is a book that I really recommend reading without spoilers.

The best part of the book for me is Lara’s indecision and how she realizes who Hunter is — not in the simple sense of a name but rather as a man. By using the uncertainty she has over whether or not he is her husband, a discovery anew is permitted. Lara finds out who her husband was and is.

Because Hunter remains mysterious for most of the book, the story feels more intellectual that emotional and maybe I’d not like all of my books in this model. But here it works for me.

WORTH MENTIONING: Do not read ahead in this book. Enjoy the way the story develops.


STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.