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Before the Storm Paperback – 21 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (21 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778303381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778303381
  • Product Dimensions: 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Award-winning author Diane Chamberlain, was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, and attended Glassboro State University. She also lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia, where she still resides.
Diane received her master's degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University.

Prior to her writing career, she was a medical social worker at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego and Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. She also was a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia., working primarily with adolescents. Diane's background in psychology and her work in hospitals has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create real, living, breathing characters.

Several years ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which has changed the way she works: she occasionally types using voice recognition software. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she is able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.

When not writing, Diane enjoys fixing up her house, playing with her three-legged Bernese Mountain Dog, Bruin, getting together with her friends and grown stepdaughters, and singing with an interfaith gospel choir.

Diane is the author of the bestselling Midwife's Confession. Her new book Keeper of the Light is out in January 2012


Product Description

Review

'Diane Chamberlain is the Southern Jodi Picoult.' --New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Alice Monroe

'This was an excellent book, well written and thoroughly gripping. Highly recommended -5 stars.' --New Books

'Diane Chamberlain is a marvellously gifted author! Every book she writes is a real gem.' --Literary Times

About the Author

Diane is the award-winning author of 14 novels. Her work in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create real, living, breathing characters.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Nicola in South Yorkshire VINE VOICE on 5 May 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved this book! Diane Chamberlain writes so fluidly that I just found myself going with the flow of the book and reading it at every possible opportunity.

The story is about Laurel, a woman who drank when she was pregnant with her now 15 year old son, Andy. As a result he has Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which has affected his growth and development. Laurel has always put all her energy into looking after Andy, giving the majority of her love and attention to him, rather than his older sister Maggie, who has always been able to look after herself. However, when a fire breaks out at the church where Andy is attending a lock-in with friends, after initially being the hero who got the other kids out, the suspicion of arson points to him. Laurel has to try to protect Andy, but realises that she also needs to protect Maggie too.

This book is a fabulous read. Diane Chamberlain is always likened to Jodi Picoult and I can see the similarities, but I find Diane Chamberlain's work a much easier read, although just as hard-hitting. In this book, she tells the story from various different perspectives, and I liked the way I could understand the events from the view of different characters. It worked very well, and was not at all confusing.

This is a real page turner - highly recommended.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Colbert VINE VOICE on 16 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Diane Chamberlain has been called the Southern Jodi Picoult and certainly there are similarities, for instance each chapter is narrated by a different character, and family relationships are explored in depth. However, while I have read and didn't particular warm to Jodi Picoult's books, I have to say that this story really captivated me.

The first chapter was narrated by Andy which I thought was inspiring as straight away we got a feel for his character and how he thinks and feels about his family and his circumstances. I instantly warmed to him as he joined all his 'friends' in the church for the evening and tried to talk to a girl he was attracted to by telling her that he loved her. The boy she was with talked down to Andy and he was confused as he thought everyone was his friend. Then the fire starts and panic sets in inside the church.

As the story continues we see through Andy and his family's eyes the police investigation into the arson attack and family secrets long buried start to surface. Laurel, Andy's widowed mother thinks that Maggie, Andy's sister, is happy and content but does she really know her as well as she thinks she does and why does Laurel blame her husband's brother, Marcus, for his death? All the while she is trying to protect Andy while her world turns upside down and people start to turn against her.

I thought the characters were well-defined, particularly Andy, and I would recommend this if you're looking for a read that's not too light, but thought-provoking.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Wright VINE VOICE on 7 May 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Beginning with the suspected arson of a local church during a teenagers lock-in, "Before the Storm," intertwines events before, during and after the event from multiple perspectives including suspect Andy (the 15 year old boy with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome), his mother Laurel, sister Maggie and uncle Marcus. I found all of the main characters to be well rounded and likeable the strands of the narrative flowed well between all of them. I also enjoyed the setting of Topsail island as Chamberlain's description really came to life. There are many twists and turns alogd the way, as more and more background to each character is revealed and I found myself wanting to keep reading to find out what would happen next.

"Before The Storm," is the first novel I have read from Diane Chamberlain but it certainly won't be the last. I highly recommended this to fans of Jodi Picoult.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Janie U VINE VOICE on 11 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book gives a good balance between what is happening in the present day and the process of gradually building up the back stories of the characters. Without being too obvious, there never seems to be any confusion about placing the part of the story that you are reading.
The problem I have with this book is that it all feels too familiar even though I hadn't read any novels from this author before. I have read a few Jodi Piccoult books and this is a very similar style although I don't think it is as good.
It is an easy read and I got through it fairly quickly. The story developed reasonably well although was too far fetched in various parts. It was not a soul searching story although I think that is how it just intended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amanda TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Absolutely loved this book. Laurel has a fifteen year old son Andy who was born with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder due to her excess drinking. Full of guilt Laurel has devoted her life to him. After a fire breaks out in a local church Andy is hailed a hero for saving many of the children that were trapped. However he is subsequently accused of arson and Laurel finds herself in an unenviable position. With a few good twists and an excellent insight into a family filled with turmoil it made for a very good read. Highly recommend reading SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND the follow on to this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beansmummy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 May 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoyed this book, having not read anything by the author in the past. It is well written and engaging, albeit quite predictable. As a doctor, I found the author's approach to the (fortunately now fairly rare) Foetal Alcohol Syndrome insightful and realistic.

It is easy to read and certainly quite a page-turner. The story is told by several of the characters in turn, and flashes back to the past events leading to everyone's current situation, thus gradually explaining the deeper complexities of their relationships etc. This makes an already interesting story even more compelling as the background is slowly revealed and it all makes sense.

Briefly, it is about a mother of two teenagers, the younger of whom has Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as a result of his mother's drinking during her pregnancy. Her son has none of the common physical effects of the condition, but has learning difficulties. He unexpectedly finds himself the hero of the hour when he rescues many of his friends from a burning building, but subsequently falls under suspicion of arson, and causing the death of the victims of the fire. His mother, sister and uncle try to protect and defend him from the accusations, which he cannot understand.

An enjoyable book, which I recommend as part of your summer holiday reading.
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