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June 2, 2019

Diane Chamberlain: Celebrating 30 Years as a Published Author

by Susan Roberts


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When St. Martins’ Griffin releases the paperback of THE DREAM DAUGHTER on June 4th it will mark Diane's 30th year as a published author.

Diane Chamberlain has long been one of my favorite authors. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic of her books revolves around family, love, compassion, and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane's earlier work as a psychologist has given her a strong interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

I've read most of Diane's books and here are reviews on my three favorites:

The Dream Daughter

The Dream Daughter
When I read the blurb for this book and saw that it was about time travel, I was a bit reluctant to read it but since it was an author that I love, I decided to give it a chance. Once I started reading it I quickly realized that it was as fantastic as other Diane Chamberlain books, I was hooked. This is one of Diane's best books ever.

When Caroline finds out that her unborn daughter has a heart defect that will be fatal in 1970, she is devastated. Her husband has just died in Vietnam and this baby is all she has left of him. Her brother in law admits to her that he is a time traveler from 2001 and that there is surgery being performed in the future that can save her baby. After initial disbelief, Caroline decides that she will do anything to save her baby and travels back to 2001. This is all I am going to say about the plot because I don't want to ruin anything. What I will say is that the plot is exquisitely done and doesn't have a false note in it. This book kept me reading late into the night because I had to find out what would happen to everyone.

The characters in THE DREAM DAUGHTER are so well written that the reader feels the fear and determination that Caroline has about saving her baby. Also, the research that was done about the music and the clothes during all time periods made this novel even more believable. I was around back in the 70s and her descriptions of this time period were spot on.

Buy The Dream Daughter at Amazon

The Stolen Marriage

Stone Marriage
Diane Chamberlain has done it again -- written a fantastic new book that will keep you turning pages until you get to the end. I have read all of her books and the new one is one of my favorites. If I could give it more than 5 stars, I definitely would!

Tess and Vincent are the perfect couple. Living in Baltimore MD with their wedding only a few months away they have great plans for their future. Vincent, a doctor, and Tess, soon to be a nurse, plan to go into practice together after they get married. After a bad decision by Tess, she ends up married to a secretive man who she barely knows and living in Hickory NC. Her husband is well known in town but everyone assumed that he would marry someone else so Tess is disliked by the townspeople as well as her new husband's family. Henry has lots of new secrets from his new wife and Tess is unable to figure out her new husband. When a polio epidemic strikes NC and the town builds a polio hospital, Tess goes against her husband's wishes and goes to work at the hospital. While she is thrilled to be using her nursing training, will she ever be able to find happiness in her life?

As with previous books, Diane gives us believable characters and circumstances. She went into so much interesting detail about life in this time period as well as how the people with polio were treated and what nursing care they required.

This book connected with me on a lot of personal levels too. My mom was in nurse's training in 1943 just like the main character. Plus, I live in NC, less than 100 miles from Hickory and never knew about the polio hospital that the citizens of Hickory built in less than 54 hours to help combat the polio epidemic in 1944. I have been on Google reading more about it and the history of Hickory since I read this book. I love it when a book is so wonderful AND teaches the reader about history that was never taught in history books but should have been. Thank you, Diane, for a wonderful new novel. I loved it!

Buy The Stolen Marriage at Amazon

Necessary Lies

Necessary Lies
I live in North Carolina and was aware of the issue of eugenics due to newspaper articles in the last few years. I moved to NC in 1973 and remember the days that the fields were full of tobacco plants and people working tobacco. Those days are gone thanks to decreasing demand for cigarettes. I live near Greensboro and graduated from the University of NC in Greensboro - which was originally Women's College, where Jane graduated before becoming a social worker. So much of this novel was very familiar to me. The author did a fantastic job of making the setting for her story very true to life. But more important than the setting was the story itself. She took a very sensitive and disputed topic and put a face to it. It's one thing to discuss what is wrong with eugenics but it makes it so much more real to think about it with Ivy and Mary Ella. Even though they are fictional characters, they represent many of the women of this time period. The story was very real and I'm sure that similar stories were played out all over the country during this time period.

I tend to judge my books by how long I think about them after I finish reading them and how many people I recommend them to. I have recommended this book to everyone I know and continue to think about the story and the characters days after I finished the book. I read a lot of books and this one has affected me more than many of the other books I have read this year.

Buy Necessary Lies at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

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