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Secrets She Left Behind [Paperback]

Diane Chamberlain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

20 Aug 2010
What if you did something so devastating, you regretted it for the rest of your life? Nineteen-year-old Maggie Lockwood spent a year in prison for her part in a fire that cost three lives. The scars carried by the surviving victims – inside and out – are still raw and Maggie’s release from jail does nothing to free her from the guilt. Returning home, Maggie hides herself away, too afraid to see Keith, the boy she grew up with, played with as a child – and recently learnt is her half-brother. Keith nearly lost his life in the fire and the emotional and physical wounds he carries have changed him forever. .With childhood innocence gone, Maggie and Keith must learn to come to terms with their new lives, but trying to move forward will have deadly consequences… For fans of JODI PICOULT, this is a must read. “Eloquently written and insightful… The plot is absolute genius.”

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (20 Aug 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 077830387X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778303879
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,631 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


"The story is seamless... The plot is absolute genius. Chamberlain has written an intriguing page turner that is extremely difficult to put down." - on Secrets She Left Behind"

About the Author

Diane is the award-winning author of 14 novels. Her background in psychology and 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another very real read... 29 Aug 2010
By LittleReader VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read 'Before the Storm' so was eager to get cracking on this, the sequel. Following on from the events a year before, we are reintroduced to the characters and I do believe that this is so well done, you don't have to have read 'Before the Storm' to get a lot out of it.
DC is a fabulous story teller. So much better that Jodi Picoult's latest offerings (though on a par with her earlier work), DC writes with flair and integrity and really gets into the nitty gritty of a tale.
From the delightful relationship that has developed between Andy and Kimmie to the breathtaking reality of life for Maggie since she was released from prison after committing a crime that had devastating effects on her local community, this is a meaty, well paced read. Keith, not only battling physical pain, has an emotional battle ahead of him and a letter stuffed into the back of a drawer may finally give him the answers he needs.
Highly recommended, I'm sure this will passed around my friends...
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to "Before the Storm" 24 Nov 2009
Another fabulous book from Diane Chamberlain. When I ordered this book I wasn't aware it was a sequel, but it certainly stands alone as a great story (even without having read BTS).

The present day is now the year after fire at the youth club. The culprit has to face everybody in the community, and despite struggling with guilt wants to make it right again; not wallow in purely self-indulgent guilt. There is a lot of bitterness and a lot of blame apportioned in the community.

It sounds really heavy and depressing, but it isn't. The characters in the central family bring all the secrets out in the open. Their dialogues with eachother are real and heartwarming.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong follow up story 25 Sep 2010
By Amy
Secrets She Left Behind is the follow up to Diane Chamberlain's previous novel Before The Storm. This book can easily be read as a stand alone book however, I think in order to get a thorough understanding of all the charcters and view points from all sides then Before The Storm should be read first.

Each chapter of this book is either narrated by Sara, her son Keith, Maggie or her brother Andy therefore there are several different stories running throughout the book although all four characters are drawn together in one way or another.

Similarly to Before The Storm there are some flashbacks throughout this book, this time however they are explained from Sara's point of view instead of Laurel's (as it was in Before The Storm). Therefore, this allows the reader to fully understand the story from both sides and helps to explain what really happened.

After reading Before The Storm I did wonder where else Diane Chamberlain could get the characters to go but she has proven in this book that there was plenty more to write about with each character and she also introduces a couple of new characters which add a fresh look to this story.

Overall, this is a great follow up and although it is a lenghy read (over 500 pages) there is mystery and intrigue throughout which helped to keep me turning the pages until the very end.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT 15 Dec 2011
By Amanda TOP 500 REVIEWER
Highly recommend reading Before The Storm first as this book is the sequel to it, and both of these novels do complement each other very well. Really do feel that this accomplished author (without giving too much away as do not want to spoil the story in the first book) manages so well to get to the heart of the matter when writing about the complexities of families filled with anguish and pain, and in particular the consequences of one's actions.
Fantastic read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far Reaching Ripples... 22 Mar 2011
A good sequel that has plenty to offer and doesn't just go over the old ground of the first book. Although many people have stated that this is a stand alone book, I think to really appreciate the evolution of the characters you need to read the first book Before the Storm (MIRA).

I don't want to spoil the plot of this or the first book - so I will try to generalise:

The main plot of this book is how the culprit who caused the tragic fire in the first book, deals with the fallout of what they have done in the local community and with their personal self loathing. We also get to see the emotional and physical pain of one of the burn victims and how this affects the way they feel about themselves, which emphasis the unhealthy pressure to look perfect in current society.

We also get a much deeper insight into the character Sara Weston in this book, with a memoir of her sad past relationship and her difficulties in moving forward from it.

DC shows how a tragedy can cause not just instant grief and horror, but can have a devastating, long lasting impact on the lives of both victims and perpetrator. The story itself sounds quite depressing, but there is an optimistic vein running through the book, showing that we can get through almost anything if we learn to forgive and in turn seek forgiveness.

Overall, another good book from DC. Interesting, thought provoking, and showing the strength of family ties.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND 7 Oct 2010
Great sequal couldn't put it down although didn't care as much for Maggie the main character in this book as she was a bit self indulgent with her guilt. Great idea to revisit a story from the peripheral characters view point of the first book.
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