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The Diary Hardcover – April 7, 2009

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As their mother lies dying in a nursing home, two sisters find her diary—and a mother they never knew. Written shortly before their parents' marriage, the diary details their mother's romance with another man, and the sisters are moved to discover the depth of their mother's heartache. Slipping between a nostalgic past and the present, the story is suspenseful and surprising, and the versatile Susan Ericksen gives the characters the life, color and personality they deserve, effortlessly and faithfully conveying the middle-class, Midwestern setting. A Vanguard hardcover. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Eileen Goudge is the New York Times bestselling author whose novels include Domestic Affairs, Woman in Red, One Last Dance, Garden of Lies, and Thorns of Truth. There are more than three million copies of her books in print worldwide. She lives with her husband, entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon, in New York City.

www.eileengoudge.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593155433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593155438
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a writer by day, with 16 fiction titles and 1 cookbook to my name, and wife of a film critic by night. Be careful what you tell me or it might end up in one of my novels. I come from a large family with a few skeletons rattling around in the closet. I'm also a mom and serial wife (my current husband is not my first, though he's without a doubt the last). Fortunately my friends and family are still speaking to me, and readers continue to read what I've written. Maybe because I'm not afraid to go there. So, please, pull up a chair if you dare.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bingo-Karen Haney VINE VOICE on April 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THE DIARY by Eileen Goudge was sent to with a personal inscription that made me aware that this was a very special story for Eileen to write. Then I focused on the "Author's Note" which immediately touched my heart as I saw it was dedicated to Eileen's parents and I knew I was in for something very special. Reading Eileen Goudge's books are always a pleasure but I was not prepared for just how extraordinary THE DIARY is. I read it in one sitting which is unusual for me with my busy schedule but there was no way I was putting it down.

I was caught up immediately with Emily and Sarah's discovery of their mother's diary which tells the story of A. J. and Elizabeth. The two adult sisters are clearing out their mother's attic following her declining health as a result of a debilitating stroke that has left her mute and close to death. The diary is delicately described as "bound in maroon leather dulled with age, its gilt tooling worn away in spots" with a "satin bookmarker, once red, now faded to the ashy-pink of dried, pressed rose." It also said the diary "seemed to carry the scent of dried roses" and with that description I was transported with all my senses to the setting of the story within that diary!

The diary reveals a completely different mother than the one the daughters thought they knew. With their father having predeceased their mother, and her unable to speak, they have nobody to turn to with their questions concerning the information that is divulged in the writing in this journal. Diary entries are written verbatim and the story simultaneously presents the narrative to accompany each entry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Liz on April 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. I read three chapters the first night and finished it the second night. I couldn't put it down, I was swept away wondering what was going to happen next and trying to put the pieces together of who their mother had chosen. It really makes you wonder just what you may not know about the people closest to you. It is a wonderful story of love and what a woman had to go through in the past when chosing a husband based on love or based on status. I highly recommend this story to anyone who wants to be swept away in an easy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on August 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sara and Emily are cleaning up their moribund mother's house when they discover an old diary in the attic. Her mother had penned the diary during her youth. To her middle-aged daughters' dismay, it appears that she'd had a big love of her life -- a man that was not their father. How could this be? Their parents had been very happy, seemed to be in love! What's more is that their mother must have lied about certain things throughout her life. But as the women read on, they learn about that goes on to the young and beautiful Elizabeth since the year of 1951. What transpires is a story full of intrigue, misunderstandings and star-crossed romance.

The Diary is a cuddle-under-the-sheets (or beach towel) type of comfort read that you'd get from the likes of Nicholas Sparks and Cecelia Ahern. It reminded of The Notebook in more ways than one, only not as sentimental. I thought this was a nice, albeit insubstantial read that you can gobble up in two or three sittings -- definitely something to take with you on a lazy day on the beach. Eileen Goudge has created something of a light and enjoyable chick-lit that will be picked up by people in the bargain for the aforementioned read again and again. And that, in a nutshell, sums up the book quite well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Eileen Goudge was inspired by her own parent's true story for "The Diary" according to her own Author's Notes inserted prior to chapter one. When an author digs directly into their close family life, the good/bad, rich/poor, sickness/health, nitty gritty of immediate family relationship, it becomes a work of love--as shows in "The Diary."

My wife enjoyed it tremendously and suggested I would also. She was quite right. This is no romance novel, although about love. It deals with finding the strength to choose true love over safer, more secure options. A LOVE theme, but in a realistic, human context, not from a steamy room in a motel, like those cheap imitations of human intimacy.
This book holds as much mystery and suspense in the pages as any murder mystery or detective story. The clues to the mystery are provided but it takes the author, in her own time (of course at the end of the story) to fill in the final picture. And much to a reader's delight.

Sisters, Emily and Sarah, box up Mother's belongings (dad/husband is already deceased) due to the home place being sold. They come across Mom's diary--The Diary. Who wouldn't look. Mom lays motionless, unresponsive, & failing in a nursing home after a stroke. She's likely soon to die. Diary entries begin to uncover a romantic triangle, their mother's young adult dilemma of loving and being loved by two different men, both unique in their own ways, but opposites as far as the choice to be made.

It's called "Domestic fiction" rather than mystery or romance and it lives up to those words. It is the writing of the emotional intercourse among family that brings the pages alive. Everyone wishes they had "The Diary" written by their parents.
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