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Retro Reading: The True Bride by Thomas Altman


As June comes to a close, so do hopes of many millions of people who had hoped to be a June bride.

Eric and Ellen Campbell are a happily married couple who are expecting their first child in September but someone wants to end that happiness.

In her seventh month, living in Scottsdale during a heatwave, Ellen isn't happy about living in the southwest. She wishes that she could be back in Maine and with being pregnant in this heat she just wants everything to be over.

But there's two problems.

Her mother has moved down there and Eric is employed by a fundraising company so he doesn't want to leave his job.

While Eric is your typical good looking man, Ellen begins to worry when one night she goes into the apartments community laundry room and meets Anna Rosenberg. Anna begins asking her all kinds of personal questions and Ellen begins to suspect that Anna has a crush on him. With her being seven months along, Ellen feels bad about her looks and knows that one day she's going to look good again.

Over the last few months, though, Eric has been having terrible nightmares and one night when Ellen can't sleep, she stands looking out at the parking lot and sees someone in white looking up at the apartment. It upsets her, but she kind of brushes it off.

As the days begin to grow increasingly long for her, Ellen begins to notice that little things are different.

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Take the fact that a blue maternity top is found in the pool cut and slashed.

And another time after the couple enjoy an evening out to the movies, they come home and she knows that someone has been inside. How, you might wonder? The intruder has immaculately cleaned the apartment.

Of course Eric doesn't notice this, but Ellen sure does.

With little things happening around her, Ellen begins to think that she's going crazy, or that Eric is having an affair. She doesn't know what or who to believe.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of those books that's a riveting page turner.

When it starts, a bride is left at the altar and she's three months pregnant. However, since she was left at the altar, she ends up in a bathtub with her wedding dress on and aborts the baby.

We know that the groom/father was Eric, but he's never told Ellen of his past and he doesn't know that both of them are being stalked by the former bride.

Occasional passages let us know, but for the most part, it's not a real suspense filled story. It's just told in pages and pages of narrative and there's a lot of details missing. I can't put my finger on what they are, but you kind of know when you get into the story.

Figuring out the bride who was stood up isn't a no brainer, and I think it would have been a better read had we known more about her and Eric's relationship.

If you want to knock something out in a day or two, this is fine, but maybe a movie version would have been better.

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