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71 of 74 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

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Secret lives
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.
Published 21 months ago by Geea O'C


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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 14 Jan. 2011
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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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7 of 7 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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34 of 37 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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5 of 5 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading which I enjoyed, making me think hard about taboo subjects dealt ..., 13 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
I read this book with an open mind and was quite impressed. The story twisted and turned with history repeating itself but not in ways you would think and wound its way to be an interesting read. I thought the ending could have explained more detail but the main characters held their own and were believable and convincing. Would I read more from Diane Chamberlain - no rush!!
Compelling reading which I enjoyed, making me think hard about taboo subjects dealt with from both sides.
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story with lots of surprises, 30 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Secret Lives (Kindle Edition)
This is a great read. It seemed a little slow in the beginning but as soon as I got into it I couldn't put it down. The story line is great. There is so much going on but its all connected. Its very cleverly written. The characters are great. You really feel connected with Kate, Eden and Kyle. There are surprises throughout the book which make you want to keep reading.i have only recently started reading Diane Chamberlain, ive read about 8 so far and have loved them all. I love her style of writing. Cant wait to read the next one.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diane Chamberlain, does she EVER disappoint?!, 13 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Secret Lives (Paperback)
Another beauty from Diane Chamberlain - she really is a brilliant writer.

It was a little slow to get into at first (when I say a little, I mean it wasn't as instantaneous as her others) but by around chapter 3, I was hooked. I couldn't wait to read all the journal entries and I started forming a real image of all the characters in my mind. The story of Ben Alexander was riveting and I genuinely couldn't work out if he was innocent or guilty - the twist at the end of that was brilliant. Having two seperate stories in one book was a really good touch and both were equally as excellent. I really don't have anything bad to say about this and I'm sort of disappointed it's finished. I want more!
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Secret Lives
Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain (Paperback - 27 Feb. 2014)
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