Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review: Secrets She Left Behind by Diane Chamberlain

One afternoon, single mother Sara Weston says that she's going to the store—and never returns. In her absence, she leaves her teenage son alone with his damaged past and a legacy of secrets.
Keith Weston nearly lost his life in an act of arson. He survived—but with devastating physical and emotional scars. Without his mother, he has no one to help him heal, no money, nothing to live for but the medications that numb his pain. Isolated and angry, his hatred has one tight focus: his half sister, Maggie Lockwood.
Nineteen-year-old Maggie Lockwood spent a year in prison for the acts that led up to the fire. Now she's back home. But her release cannot free her from the burden of guilt she carries. She grew up with Keith Weston, played with him as a child…and recently learned they share the same father.
Now the person Keith despises most is the closest thing he has to family—until Sara returns. If Sara returns….

Paperback, 490 pages

Terri's Review

I am in the process of cleaning out my bookshelves and reading all of the books which I have borrowed so that I can return them and begin building my own personal book collection again.  This book was buried in a box that I had packed when I moved back in March.  I realized that it was a sequel to Chamberlains book Before the Storm which I have read quite some time ago.

I was worried that I would have some issues getting in to the book considering that it was a long time ago that I read the first one and that it would be a difficult read as a result.  I was wrong.  I was pulled back in to the story within a couple of pages and I remained glued until I finished it.  I did this in one day and needless to say my housework suffered as a result.

I can not go in to a lot of detail about this book as it would give too much information regarding what occurred in the first one for anyone who has not read it as it continues where the other one left off.  It fills the reader in on what occurred in the first book from Sara's perspective which is not shared in the first book.  Through this book, it wraps up the storyline and gives us a much needed full perspective on the tangled lives of the characters.  It follows the same formula where it tells the story of the current day characters in the aftermath of the fire while also telling the story of what occurred in the past that has intertwined these characters.  This I enjoyed as it seems to be the style of writing that I am most drawn to these days.  This is how I fell in love with Chamberlains novels from back when I first discovered her when I read Breaking the Silence which to this day is still my favourite novel of hers.

Highlights for me were any scenes involving Andy as I found them touching and comical seeing things from his perspective.  I also enjoyed how Chamberlain portrayed Sara who could have been viewed in the first book as unlikeable due to the actions she took in her life choices.  It humanised her and let the reader know that there are always two sides to a story and that until you know the full story, there is never a true villain or person to blame.

Although I believe that I have not read all of Chamberlains works at this time, I have now read all of the ones that have been circulating around my family.  I will now have to research which ones we do not collectively own to continue my quest to read all of her works.

Terri's Review

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