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260 Reviews
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
What an amazing book!

The stories going on within the book are complex but riveting. You really feel for the characters and long to find out how things work out for them.

I thought the sections in the book written in the style of Eden's mothers journal entries were an inspired idea. It really helps with the flow of the book and fits seamlessly even...
Published on 14 Jan 2011 by Amazon Customer

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Like Her Usual Books
I was a bit shocked by this book. It's not a Diane book. In this I mean, it is not her usual style. I found it quite hard to read. Not because of the way it was written but because of the subject matter. It is quite disturbing reading at times as it talks about incest and sexual abuse. But, it is well written and a good read.
Published 7 months ago by Kate Morley


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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 14 Jan 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (West Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
What an amazing book!

The stories going on within the book are complex but riveting. You really feel for the characters and long to find out how things work out for them.

I thought the sections in the book written in the style of Eden's mothers journal entries were an inspired idea. It really helps with the flow of the book and fits seamlessly even though it is jumping between different times.

The twists are excellent and I found myself attached to the characters and felt their emotions. I couldn't put the book down, I was constantly waiting to see what new revelations were waiting for me. I have only discovered Diane Chamberlain's books in the last fortnight and this is the 3rd book of hers I have read. She now definately on my list of must read authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 22 July 2012
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This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
I am a fan of Diane Chamberlain anyway, and had already read most of her books. I bought this one because i was interested in her earlier work and how it was written, and i just wanted to read more by her to be honest!
I loved this book - Diane has the ability to get right to the heart of any issue, with her characters being so well portrayed while keeping a sense of suspence and mystery. This book was no exception -the characters are so well explored, particularly Eden and her Mum, who we get to know through her journal, the same as Eden does. At first she seems very unlikeable but then through the hjournal we are shown a new side to her, and i love stories written in two time frames so this one appealed to me, and was done brilliantly.
The one criticism i have is that i thought the back story of Ben was not as believable as it could have been; Without giving too much away, i thought that the fact that nobody believed his story and were so quick to condemn was maybe not true to reality. I half wish that his back story was different and not quite so traumatic.
Overall, this book is every bit as good as Chamberlains recent work - she has a great grasp of pshychology and human emotion and that shines through in this story. I will read it again and would recommend.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courageous, multi-faceted and wonderfully human, 12 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
There's a little introduction to this edition stating that the book is no longer in print, but thanks to the invention of downloadable books it's once more available. This shows how cut-throat and competitive the world of publishing is, because this is a beautifully written and highly accomplished story which deserves to be available to a wider audience.

It's written in a format which I always enjoy: a current third person narrative interspersed with a sub-plot written in the first person. All of the main characters keep their secrets and the gradual and sometimes painful revelations are what keep turning the pages. I'd guessed pretty early on a couple of these secrets, but I started to care so much about the characters that I wanted to find out how things would pan out for them. Of course, for one of them, the enigmatic and elusive Kate Swift, we know right from the start that she has died young and follow her daughter's attempts to understand her life and discover what happened. But we want so much for the past to be healed and an optimistic future for all involved.

Along the way, whilst carrying her own demons, Eden Riley meets and falls in love with a man who also has demons of his own. Ultimately, we learn that we are all victims of victims in some way.

The author very bravely - and fairly graphically - touches on the subject of child abuse. It's enough to make you feel deeply uncomfortable, but doesn't go too far.

It's all about a web of human relationships, each person carrying their own burden and intrinsically linking together. The only minor criticism I have is that as fully rounded and empathetic as Kate's character is, I find her unconvincing in the capacity of a successful children's book author. That is only a little niggle and doesn't detract from the story.

The ending ties things together very nicely, is happy and poignant in equal measures and I'm sure will stay with me for a long time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 22 Jan 2012
This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
another great book, couldn't put it down. i spent a few nights staying up reading late in to the night. there is one part of the book that doesn't make easy reading but it is part of the story and was necessary in the story. I couldn't wait until another diary was brought out to read the back story. very enjoyable book
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Like Her Usual Books, 29 April 2014
By 
Kate Morley (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
I was a bit shocked by this book. It's not a Diane book. In this I mean, it is not her usual style. I found it quite hard to read. Not because of the way it was written but because of the subject matter. It is quite disturbing reading at times as it talks about incest and sexual abuse. But, it is well written and a good read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Secret lives, 25 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
Sorry I had to give a three star,the reason too much detail in sex scenes, which I think is not necessary to tell a good story. If I had known,would not have read this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 10 Aug 2011
This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down once I started!
Really different from lost chick lit and a very touching story.
After reading this I went on to read more of chamberlain's books which were all excellent, although I think this one remains my favourite!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Secret lives, 2 July 2013
This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
I gave this book three stars only because I have read several of Diane Chamberlain books and I didn't feel this one was as good as the others. Also worked out the ending early in the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Lives, 10 Aug 2011
By 
H. MCKENNY (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
O my goodness what a fantastic book. I could not put it down. So many complex stories going
on within the one book. Very well researched by the author. I feel as if I know the characters
and can feel their emotions.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!, 19 Jun 2011
This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
I wasn't sure if i would like this book since it was from 1991 and my experiences of reprinted books in the past have not been good. So far Diane Chamberlains have been the exception I read Reflection and really enjoyed it and i thought Secret Lives was brilliant i did not want to put it down, when i finished it i had a moment of sadness that i HAD finished it! Time to download my next Diane Chamberlain!
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Secret Lives
Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain (Paperback - 27 Feb 2014)
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