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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another very real read...
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...
Published on 29 Aug. 2010 by LittleReader

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3.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review
You may also read my review here: [...]

It could have been because I was dealing with some serious family issues while I was reading this book and wasn't able to devote my full attention to it, but I found the story to be just okay. Good, but not great.

The way this story was told was great - the break between past and present but I really wanted to...
Published on 14 Feb. 2012 by Turning the Pages


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another very real read..., 29 Aug. 2010
By 
LittleReader (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong follow up story, 25 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Far Reaching Ripples..., 22 Mar. 2011
By 
Kirsty "book fan" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
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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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 15 Dec. 2011
By 
Amanda "sac" (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Sequal, 4 May 2011
This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
After reading 'Before The Storm', I was incredibly eager to read this book. I can't say it's as good as 'Before The Storm' or that it's filled with as many twists and turns but it doesn't disappoint. 'Before The Storm' is a brilliant story and i love how this one continues on to watch how the families have suffered and are slowly putting the pieces back together. It demonstrates how redemption is possible and how we can find ali's in the strangest of places.

The story focuses on two families that have been ripped apart. It takes place a year after 'Before The Storm' and told from two different perspectives - Maggie's and Keith's. You get a glance in two different sides of recovery from both characters. They both suffered damage from one circustance but the damage they suffer is completely differently and it's about how they take their steps to recovery, fighting against one another as well as everyone's prejudice against them.

I highly recommend this book after you have read 'Before The Storm' as they are both brilliant books!!
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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
This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second part of "Before the Storm ", 21 July 2014
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The second part of the excellent novel " Before the Storm " but contains a lot of that novel so can be speed read in parts. Maggie spends much of the novel enduring prejudice from people she used to regard as friends and she still feels wracked with guilt. Keith's mother has also disappeared giving an extra dimension to the story - but you must read " Before the Storm " first so that all the characters make sense.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
You may also read my review here: [...]

It could have been because I was dealing with some serious family issues while I was reading this book and wasn't able to devote my full attention to it, but I found the story to be just okay. Good, but not great.

The way this story was told was great - the break between past and present but I really wanted to know about the past before reading some of the current story. It was really hard to understand the back story of Sara and Jamie (Keith and Maggie's father), as well as Sara and Laurel (Maggie's mom) and having to wait for Sara's take was really annoying. While I understand that part of that was a must-read technique, I just didn't have the patience and found myself skimming ahead to read the back story.

As the story came together and the present became the whole story (about 3/4 through), the book really took off and was fabulous. Everything came together very well and the true heroes and villians were revealed.

Overall, a good read... bit slow, but if you can get to the last 1/4, it will be worth it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 25 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Secrets She Left Behind (Paperback)
This book follows the characters introduced in Before the Storm. I hadn't read Before the Storm before reading this one and don't think it mattered once I had worked out the characters. I'm not sure whether it will affect my reading of Before the Storm as I know who started the fire and why and the effects on other people etc.

This story is written from 4 main viewpoints- Maggie who is being let out of prison, Andy-her brother, Keith who she has just learned is her half brother and was badly scarred in the fire and Sara, Keith's mum. The latter's chapters are written as a journal rather than narrative and cover the time from Maggie being born to present.

The story encompasses Sara's disappearance, Maggie's return home from prison and attempts to be accepted by society, as well as issues of complex family relationships, fetal alcohol syndrome, guilt and surviving and is a gripping read
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Secrets She Left Behind
Secrets She Left Behind by Diane Chamberlain (Paperback - 20 Aug. 2010)
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