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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2014
I have loved all Chamberlain's previous novels and so I was really excited when I found out she had a new book out. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed with this novel. The first few page lure you in to what turns out to be a really boring story. The book is about a women named Daria whose family raise a newborn baby, Shelly, that Daria finds on the beach one morning. No one knows who the baby's mother is. Fast forward 22 years and Shelly is trying to find out who her birth mother is. The story has potential but sadly does not live up to expectations. It takes a long time to really get into this novel as nothing much happens for the first half of the book. There is one character in the book who is utterly pointless (you will know who if you actually finish the book). By the time you actually find out who the mother is you are past caring. I would have liked more of a build up to who the mother is, I would have liked to be shocked and to have been kept guessing throughout the book. I hope Chamberlain's next book is much better than this!
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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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I am a long fan of Diane Chamberlain and her novels – there is always something about them that pulls me in and her stories are so lifelike!

When Daria Cato was 11 years old she found an abandoned baby, and the Cato family adopt the baby, Shelly, and bring her up. But twenty years later, Rory Taylor, an old friend of Daria’s, returns to the town and it appears that he will stop at nothing to uncover the truth about Shelly’s birth…

I thoroughly enjoyed Summer’s Child. The writing flowed easily and I instantly became swept up in everything I was reading, finding it impossible to put down. The settings were beautifully described – I really got a sense of the atmosphere and I could picture everything clearly.

I particularly enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story – what exactly had happened to Shelly for her to be abandoned? What secrets were there to uncover? I really liked Shelly as a character and I constantly wanted to read on to find out what would happen on her journey. I was truly gripped to the novel wanting to uncover the truth about Shelly - I did try to guess but I was completely surprised by the result!

Diane Chamberlain is a very talented writer and she effortlessly managed to draw me into the story so it was as though I was stood next to the characters watching the scenes unfold in front of me. Summer’s Child is a captivating and intriguing story full of secrets, love, family, and discovery.
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on 4 April 2014
Thank you to Harlequin Mira for kindly sending me a review copy. It was unexpected and I couldn’t wait to read it as it was my first read of Diane’s novels.

At age 11, Daria finds a new born baby on the beach. She doesn’t seem to acknowledge what has happened at first and I couldn’t help but wonder what she was hiding. The narrative quickly moves on to 22 years later and readers are left with a big gap of unanswered questions. What has occurred since then?

Every chapter is crucial in this book. The big ‘who is the mother’ secret is kept until the ideal moment, but I have to be honest, I really wasn’t surprised. The build up was weak and lacked a grip. It wasn’t obvious who the mother was, but I sat reading the book and it had no effect on me at all. I wasn’t shocked, or surprised. I found myself finishing the book still with a lot of unanswered questions.

For me, the dialogue spoilt the book. There were a lot of unrealistic and dramatic conversations which threw me away from the main plot line.

I really wish I had enjoyed it more, but sadly, I didn’t.
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on 15 October 2014
I really enjoyed this book. The setting is a seaside town, which you can very easily picture due to the author's brilliant descriptions. Each time I picked this book up I was whisked away to the beach in summer time... the story involves a family that lives in one of the beachside properties and their neighbours and a mystery of a baby found on the beach. One of the old neighbours that has moved away is now a TV personality and he returns to the area to try to solve the mystery of the baby's parentage for his tv show. There are other stories going on with some of the other charcters while our main plot develops. This is a great book, with lots to keep your interest, I was quite sad when I finished it, and had to leave the beach. Fortunately Diane Chamberlain has written a lot more books that I will be reading
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on 20 March 2016
This was an ok book, but I guessed how it would end up before I had even read half of it, which is a bit disappointing..It's an easy read though and worth taking on holiday something to entertain without taxing your brain. I think Diane Chamberlain has a nice writing style and I had read several if her books all if which I gave enjoyed.
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on 19 June 2014
Implausible....sexual relationship with clergy who've both taken a vow of chastity. Surely both would have lived happily ever after if they'd simply left their orders. But suicide!! Such depth of feeling would have prevented the relationship to begin with!

A red herring running through the entire story - again, implausible and a lifelong mystery solved within days it would seem?

And yet, the one aspect which intrigued me (why Chloe's depressive mother was brought to life by the discovery of this baby), was totally overlooked?

As for Shelley having a two year relationship with the main character's co-worker (but couldnt find the right momet to tell her).....? Not so simple-minded then was she?
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on 25 July 2014
I am a big fan of Diane Chamberlain, and enjoy her easy-reading style of writing. However, I feel that this book does not quite live up to her usual standards, with some quite unbelievable plot twists. More importantly, though, I feel that the book glosses over what ultimately was a case of child abuse. By my reckoning, one of the parents must have just 13 years old at the time of conception, well below the age of consent, whilst the other was above the age of consent. That does not sit comfortably with me, and it seemed to be dismissed in a glib manner, which is not what I associate with this author. However, I must be alone with in my worries on this score as it doesn't seem to have been raised as a concern by anyone else.
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on 10 September 2003
THIS BOOK HAD ME GRIPPED FROM START TO FINISH. I PICTURED THE CHARACTERS IN MY HEAD AS I READ ABOUT THE DAY DARIA FOUND SHELLY ON THE BEACH AND IT CHANGED THE CATO FAMILIES LIFE FOR EVER. SHELLY GROWS UP TO BE A STRONG MINDED YOUNG LADY, INTENT ON LOOKING FOR THE MOTHER THAT LEFT HER TO DIE ON A BEACH 22 YEARS EARLIER - TO DO THIS SHE ENLISTS THE HELP OF RORY, A CHIDHOOD FRIEND OF DARIA THE SISTER THAT FOUND HER ALL THOSE YEARS AGO.
IT CONTAINS SO MANY DIFFERENT EMOTIONS, I CRIED & LAUGHED READING THIS BOOK. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
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on 21 August 2014
I have read several books by Diane Chamberlain and they never disappoint.
The book is beautifully written in a picturesque beach setting which provides the perfect backdrop for the story. The story centres on Shelley a baby found on a beach by Daria Cato and over time the quest to find out how she was abandoned on the beach and who is her mother. Various characters appear throughout the story and the reader is left guessing as to whether they have a ' secret' to reveal about Shelley. As with most books by Diane Chamberlain the story builds to a well thought out ending and leaves the reader guessing through to the final pages.

I loved this book - a real page turner and one that I did not want to end.
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