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Secret Lives [Kindle Edition]

Diane Chamberlain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Kindle Edition $4.99  
Paperback --  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged $31.49  
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Book Description

Actress Eden Riley's decision to make a film about her mother plunges her into a shattering confrontation with her own past, irrevocably altering her life and the lives of those she loves. Her mother, Katherine Swift, was a renowned children's author who died when Eden was very young. Now Eden, recovering from a divorce and disillusioned with her glamorous life, returns to the childhood home of the mother she barely knew. She moves in with her uncle, archaeologist Kyle Swift and his wife, Louise.

Eden gets more than she bargained for when Kyle gives her the journal her mother had kept from the age of thirteen until her death. Eden is spellbound by the powerfully written, intimate diary that chronicles a life of hardship, madness and tragedy. But her fascination turns to horror when she discovers the shocking truth about her mother's life.

Eden turns for comfort to Ben Alexander, Kyle's colleague, not knowing that Ben has a secret of his own that could ruin Eden and her career. Now Eden must make a heartbreaking decision as she struggles to lay the ghosts of the past to rest and come to terms with her own future.

Shifting gracefully between Eden's world and Katherine's, Secret Lives seduces with the power of its images and the lyricism of its prose.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Actress Eden Riley discovers her true relationship to the "uncle" who raised her and embarks on a steamy affair with an archeologist after she returns home to film her deceased mother's life story. "Although one significant secret in this many-layered novel will fail to surprise readers, the brisk, atmospherically evocative narrative is absorbing reading," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

""The brisk, atmospherically evocative narrative is absorbing [listening]."" ---Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 424 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003U8WUMA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets Abound! November 29, 2001
Format:Paperback
Secret Lives is the fourth book by Diane Chamberlain that I have read, and the books just seem to get better and better! Eden Riley, a much sought after actress has decided to make a movie about her famous mother, Katherine Swift, an author of children stories. Eden's mother died when Eden was young and she hardly knew her mother, yet Eden heard all kind of stories about her. Eden comes back to the family "homestead" in the Shenandoah Valley, moves in with her uncle Kyle and his wife, and is presented with numerous journals by her uncle, which her mother wrote throughout her life.
Eden comes to discover that things are not what they appear to be, as she discovers her mother for the first time. Secrets are revealed, truths uncovered, not only about herself, but about her entire "family" as well. While seeking the truth, Eden comes to trust and rely on her uncle's colleague, Ben Alexander, and eventually realizes the love that has been missing in her life. Yet, Ben is also hiding a secret, which could eventually be disastrous to Eden, to her career and to her child as well.
Chamberlain weaves suspense, mystery, adventure, and romance all into one page-turner! As always, her ending will surprise the reader and have one asking where one missed the clues!! The story line is intense, yet the characters are powerful, can stand on their own and are able to draw the reader into their lives.
Another great story by Chamberlain!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chamberlain Hits The Mark Again July 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
Chambelain hits the mark again with this moving tale of a woman who delves into her mother's past, only to discover things about herself she never knew, and that she will have to come to grips with. Beautifully written with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Story May 19, 2001
Secret Lives by Diane Chamberlain is an entertaining, highly original story that like all good novels, stays with you long after you've finished the last page. Eden and Katherine Riley are two intriguing strong willed women, and their stories compelling.
I have read many novels dealing with agoraphobics, but none in which the sufferer took up residence in a cave. Diane Chamberlain makes you understand Katherine's feelings of terror and panic when away from the cave, you can almost experience Katherine's emotions and wish that the story would hurry up and move back to the cave. I have read all of Diane Chamberlain's books and this is by far her best work. If you're new to her writing, this is one book that you can not miss!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! August 23, 2010
Format:Paperback
Although I finished this book last week, I still cannot stop thinking about it. I almost want to pick it back up and read it again. I know I will at some point. Diane Chamberlain's books have a way of drawing you in and this one certainly did. This book never let me put it down. There were times when I felt like I was in the book. She makes this story so real. Like it could have happened to you. This was only the 4th Diane Chamberlain book I have read and they just keep getting better and better. I have vowed to continue to read all her books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Has Secrets March 8, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read several of Diane Chamberlain's novels and was pleasantly surprised to discover that some of her older ones had been rereleased for Kindle. Secret Lives was one of these. I think it is one of Ms. Chamberlain's best. It deals with difficukt subjects such as agorophobia, child sexual abuse, unexplained mental illness, and even incest. It focuses on the struggles of the characters to hide all of their secrets from the world and the damage to everyone when those secrets come to life.

I had a difficult time putting this book down.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chamberlain is consistently great! July 20, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my favorite Chamberlain. The story never let's down. Didn't want this book to end. Chamberlain writes so realistically. An old fashioned page turner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good book, yet I couldn't finish it April 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's hard for me to rate this book. The author says that this is one of her favorite books because writing it taught her about pacing and keeping a story interesting. I will agree with that. The story was interesting and the pacing was very well done. However, I couldn't finish it. I scanned the last few chapters to see what would happen but decided I didn't want to invest any more time actually reading the book.

A women's fiction novel about revealing a big secret will fall apart if the secret is not good, and the secret here (which you can pretty much guess early on) is sort of "squick." I did not like the characters involved more after I figured out the secret. The romantic leading man in the present day is also someone who would not be an attractive character in most books, nor in real life for that matter. He also needed a better lawyer.

What really irked me, though, was this: Chamberlain explained that she couldn't update the story (it was written in 1991) because she did all this research into life in 1940s Virginia mountain culture. I will tell you that I was shocked at what 1940s VA mountain culture was like. I had believed a lot of stereotypes: that they would speak in dialect, perhaps follow a preacher or go to an evangelical church, maybe work in a mine, play some bluegrass or country music, go to a square dance or two. . .

Nope. They are exactly the same as upper-middle class suburbanites in 1991. They masturbated, practiced safe sex with condoms, went to parties where they had apparently unsafe sex in back rooms, tried to seduce visiting photographers--and that's pretty much it. The children's book author seemed to have little writing talent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great Book. It was slow for me in the beginning but the end was exciting. I couldn't put it down
Published 2 hours ago by Dannette Stier
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Not her best, but another enjoyable read.
Published 23 days ago by Dee
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Did not read itt
Published 25 days ago by Frederick Cameron
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm not saying it was bad, to the contrary
This book was different from anything I've ever read. I'm not saying it was bad, to the contrary, it held my attention from the very beginning. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Patricia J. Niidas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome!
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Brocato
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good reading
Published 1 month ago by Charlotte J Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 1 month ago by rvcooper@xtra.co.nz
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great read.
Still in the process of reading it and finding it very intriguing and very enjoyable (as with most of the books of hers) that I have read.
I am a new fan.
Published 1 month ago by wilma Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars secret lives
I was absolutely absorbed by this book, I was so sorry when I eventually finished the book. It was the most beautifully written novel, a bit complicated with all different... Read more
Published 1 month ago by jill rod
4.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER CHAMBERLAIN FAVORITE
MS. CHAMBERLAIN never fails me. This book is probably one of my favorites. Using the journal to tie the life of mother and daughter together was so creative. Read more
Published 1 month ago by shedgecock
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More About the Author

I grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey where, at the age of twelve, I wrote several dreadful novellas, read and admired only by my family. When college rolled around, I forgot about writing and received my bachelor's and master's degrees in Social Work from San Diego State University. I was a hospital social worker in San Diego, and later in Washington DC. I also had a private psychotherapy practice working mainly with teenagers. All the while, I was writing on the side. I viewed my writing as a hobby, but it quickly became a passion. I finally decided to take a class in 'writing the novel.' I was very shy about showing my work to the instructor, but when I finally did, he loved it! He encouraged me to aim for publication and I decided to go for it. A few years later, my first novel, PRIVATE RELATIONS, was published.

Since then, I've written about a book a year- twenty-one at last count. I now live in North Carolina, the beautiful state where many of my books are set and where I'm ten minutes from my grandbabies. I share my life with my soulmate, John, who's a photographer as well as my muse, and with my two shelties, Keeper and Jet.

Are you wondering what my books are about? One of my readers in Japan had this to say about my work: "You make me believe life is beautiful even if it is full of pain and rage." Her words touch me deeply. They hang on the wall above my computer and help me remember exactly what it is I'm trying to achieve in my stories. I hope you'll enjoy them.

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