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4.5 out of 5 stars
Summer's Child
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Price:£5.99
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Another excellent mystery by Diane Chamberlain where an eleven year old girl finds a new born baby abandoned on the beach in front of the holiday cottage they're staying in and no-one seems to be able to find who had given birth to her. Fast forward twenty two years and the child , adopted by her parents, is still living with the girl in the same cottage and the mystery of her birth still hasn't been solved when the presenter of a program that investigates similar mysteries is contacted by the girl to try and find her birth mother. The presenter also happened to be one of the children who was holidaying at the same place when she was abandoned so he has a vested interest in the case. Plenty of red herrings and false leads make this a book the grabs you from the start and I doubt you'll guess the final outcome - Excellent mystery and brilliant ending.
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
What an enjoyable story. A lovely read mostly based around one family and the mystery of a newborn baby found on the beach. Each female character could have been the mother and when you think you've finally got it sussed the true mother speaks up to give a surprising end. I've read a few books by Diane Chamberlain and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them although for some reason they seem to be difficult to get hold of in England. She is a warm, loving and sympathetic writer and her stories reflect this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 May 2014
I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain's story telling and could go over the top with the superlatives for this story. I am not sure what is more enchanting, the characters Ms Chamberlain creates or her descriptions of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Those descriptions have led me to looking at the islands on Google Earth and I am even more smitten by the place, and have extracted a half promise from my husband that we will visit one day - I am still working on the rest of it!
The story is a simple one, beautifully told but with many facets, all of which gleam enticingly. Although the clues are there right from the start, the outcome is never inevitable, but having read all of Diane Chamberlain's Kindle books, I should have known better than to fall for the illusion of truth which she lays before us. I did pick up on the clues but fell for the skilful misdirection which led me away from what would have curtailed the story. I loved the individuality of the characters, even the one I disliked.
Like all of this author's work, the story will stay with you for a long time after you have finished reading it, and at the point when you do finish it, you will feel bereft that it is over. I am eagerly looking forward to more from her, and hope it will not be too long before there is another book.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
FAO 'Judy Blume' I am such a geek, I emailed Diane Chamberlain to ask her why I can't get hold of these books in Ireland. She, or her agent, sent an email back almost immediately to say that there were plans to start rolling out her novels in GB and Ireland early next year. Hooray! I have been ordering them second hand from America and paying the postage. Still works out at 7 so no more than a new book from a book shop. I'd rather a tatty copy I KNOW will be good. DC is a great writer, really enjoyed summer's child by the way. I'm going to order breaking the silence right now.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 28 March 2014
I have a huge soft spot for Diane Chamberlain’s books and I have to say that this is my favourite read of hers so far. I love books that are family orientated with a dash of mystery and romance and I especially like how the author combines all of these factors to produce something that is so enjoyable to read, yet all feels so natural – the romance element never feels as if it is “tacked onto” the main part of the story.

Twenty two years ago, eleven year old Daria found a baby on the beach, Shelly, who was adopted by her family and brought up as one of their own. Now, Shelly has contacted old neighbour, Rory Taylor, presenter of True Life Stories, and asked him to investigate on her behalf, and see if he can find out who her mother was. Rory returns to do just this, but it seems that not everyone wants him to get to the bottom of things.

It is a really good read that you can get lost in, a saga that flows off the page with characters that you really get to like and want everything to work out for them. Halfway through the read the penny drops and you begin to start piecing the puzzle of Shelly’s birth together but, even then, the author still has some surprises up her sleeve at the end of the book. It is a story of family, love, passion and drama and there are some long hidden secrets that emerge throughout the book. A fantastic read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2014
it took a couple of chapters before I really got hooked into this book. but once hooked it was hard to put down. Kept me in suspense until the near end who mother and father were.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2014
This was what I thought it would be - a good pacey read with lots of plot, a bit of romance and some human drama. I enjoyed it, I liked the way you got a few different points of view, and I liked the setting so much I'd love to visit. So it did exactly what it said on the tin, basically. My only complaint is the way the ending was handled. I didn't appreciate the very sudden cut from the drama to an epilogue tying up all the loose ends, felt really cheated. But other than that. a good beach story which would make a good beach read. if only we had a beach here at home and some sunshine to go with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2014
A great read that kept me guessing up to the end, plenty of action and excitement with believable characters with realistic personalities
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This story is set in a very small seaside hamlet known as Kill Devil Hills, located in North Carolina. Daria's family own a holiday cottage there and the entire family move there every year for the summer. On the morning of her 11th birthday, Daria goes onto the beach very early to see if the previous night's storm had washed up anything interesting. She finds a newly born baby lying on the beach. She takes it back to her parents who eventually adopt the child. The entire community is intrigued and there is endless speculation about who the mother of the child could be. Every teenage girl is viewed suspiciously but the mother is never identified.The story then moves on 22 years. The foundling is now 22 and has been named Shelly. Shelly decides that she wants to find her real mother. She contacts Rory Taylor whose family had also had a holiday cottage in Kill Devil Hills and who had been on holiday there when Shelly was found on the beach. Rory is now the host and producer of a popular tv show called True Life Stories. This programme investigates real life mysteries and Shelly feels that Rory is the right person to solve her personal mystery. Just as before, there is a great deal of speculation about who Shelly's birth mother might be and Shelly's adoptive sisters do not want her to proceed with the search, feeling that it will only lead to more unhappiness for her. The search for Shelly's mother is the crux of this novel and we follow Rory as he conducts his search. It becomes clear that there are quite a few possibilities, all of whom need to be investigated. This is a very enjoyable story and the ending is a real surprise. I certainly did not manage to identify who Shelly's mother is. In the background there is also a blossoming romance between Daria and Rory. Altogether this is a great summer read and I am happy to recommend it.
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on 25 May 2014
Set in present day and back 20 years. I was immediately drawn into the characters and their lives; yet, there was no major drama on a personal level. The setting was brilliant: never have been there but given childhood trips to Cape Cod and northern coastal areas, I could relate. So I can't speak to how an individual who has never spent warm weather time on the eastern sea front or the northwestern sea front would relate, ie: is it descriptive enough? The story had a lot of personal thought with "normal" human dialog and interaction, which is usually a 'turn-off' for me, but yet I decided that I wanted to read slower because I knew that the book would be over too soon and I didn't want that. I still want the story to continue. Why?

Well, who really knows without some analysis too boring to sustain the research? My guess is that the characters are vulnerable, but not victims - I seriously dislike reading a story of victims... I know they are out there, but I read for enjoyment, not frustration.

There is mystery without the drive-me-crazy-must-jump-ahead reaction. There is romance, but on the sides, all four of them. There is a spot of sex, but as I don't enjoy reading the details of someone else's details of the actual actions, I skipped thru it...don't know if it was good or not....but there was very little of it.

There is heroism, friendship, and secrets that inform the reader of the depths that that choice (keeping secret) can create- and they are complicated.

All in all it was a very pleasurable read, with just the right amount of complexity and human interest.
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