Saturday 30 April 2011

Diane Chamberlain's books

Many of my book-loving friends adore Diane Chamberlain's novels.

She's been writing for years, but it was when The Lost Daughter was published here in the UK that she really became popular.  Her writing is constantly compared to Jodi Picoult, in a way I can see why, they both write about families, relationships and moral issues, but I do feel that Jodi Picoult has the edge.  To be honest, I'd rather not compare them or group them together - I feel that they have quite different and separate writing styles.

So today I finished Diane Chamberlain's latest UK release; The Midwife's Confession.

I have an uncorrected proof copy and it has a plain front cover, the inside of the covers are plastered with quotes from reviewers and I was really surprised to see one of my own reviews quoted, just inside the front cover.

It's taken from my Amazon review of Breaking The Silence, I felt very honoured that my review was chosen to be quoted.  Mine is the second quote in the picture.

I really enjoyed The Midwife's Confession, although I did struggle with what felt like a huge cast of characters at the beginning.  Each chapter is narrated by one of the characters and it took me a while to remember just who was who, the two main narrators; Emerson and Tara are really quite similar people.

The story deals with many difficult and quite sensitive issues, not least the suicide of Emerson and Tara's good friend Noelle.   The three of them were like sisters and Noelle's decision was a massive shock to them.  It is only as they start to clear Noelle's belongings that they uncover her secrets and discover her secret life - they realise then that they didn't know her as well as they had thought.   The story goes back and forth; the past outlines Noelle's story and the present deals with the fallout from her suicide.

This is a very cleverly written story and although I found it slow going at the beginning, it soon increases in pace with twists and turns in almost every chapter.
All in all, this is a good read, dealing very well with many issues, although there were a couple of parts of Noelle's story that for me, seemed unnecessary, they didn't fit well into the story and were left unexplored.

Some excellent characters, not least the two daughters; Grace and Jenny.

Diane Chamberlain fans are going to love this book.


  1. Anne, I'm a Jodi Picoult fan and have also just started reading Diane Chamberlain books. I agree there are similarities but I think they have their own distinct styles. Have you read any other Diane Chamberlain books? Have you read the Bay at Midnight?

  2. Hi Lisa. I loved Breaking The Silence and thought The Lost Daughter was good but not fabulous. I started The Bay at Midnight but gave up, but to be honest I think that was more about my mood at the time, than the book.

  3. i have never read any Diane Chamberlin books will give her a go!