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Before The Storm Paperback – May 20, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chamberlain (The Bay at Midnight) lays out her latest piece of romantic suspense in a shattered chronology that's as graceful as it is perfectly paced. Most of the adults in the tightly knit coastal community of Topsail Island, N.C., accept the widowed Laurel Lockwood's 15-year-old mentally disabled son, Andy. But when Andy saves many of the town's youth during a tragic fire, he becomes a local hero who garners national attention. Laurel, caught up with making sure Andy is okay, thinks daughter Maggie, a high school senior, can handle herself. What Maggie hides from everyone are her slipping grades, a taboo affair and a terrible secret, and when the fire's origins are investigated and Andy is a person of interest, events turn progressively darker for the family. Long, juicy flashbacks cover the mysteries of Laurel's husband's death, of Andy's condition and of Laurel's preoccupation with him. Chamberlain offers no easy solutions, but her engrossing prose leads the way to redemption. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A complex and emotional story." ---RT Book Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778325415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778325413
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brenda Burke VINE VOICE on May 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Diane Chamberlain has done it again with BEFORE THE STORM. Not only does this talented and gifted author "find" the voices for the characters in this book, she lets us in to understand their thoughts and feelings. BEFORE THE STORM is a great read for those of any age...Teenagers will relate to the story as well as adults. Chamberlain writes about a family that is typical of the 21st Century-nothing perfect about them-but the love and care abounds. From Andy to Maggie to Mom...they are enchanting characters. I started the book and did not put it down until I finished. I wanted to get to the end to discover the outcome, but once I reached that end, I craved more of the story. Even though there is a sequel, AFTER THE STORM, this is still a stand-alone book. I must add that my journey with the family in this book permitted me to discover and understand some of the issues that plagued them. Thank you, Diane, for your diligence in this PERFECT read...Brenda Burke
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I can tell "once the social worker, always the social worker". I knew Diane when she was "one of those" in San Diego. I do believe her novels are so awesome because of her background, her knowledge, her experience in human frailty and insight into the not so perfect people in this world. Her writing is superior to many authors, her story telling is captivating in every sense and she makes you want the story to continue for much longer. The good news is this time----she's writing the sequel. So we all have that to look forward to.
The characters in this story are very human---they make mistakes that change their worlds. A woman becomes a single mom of a much rejected daughter and a fetal alcohol syndrome son. Her life is complicated as is the lives of the children and everyone around her.
There's a fire at a church, her son becomes a hero when he saves others but then the story does a few twists and turns before you have a chance to discover who is to blame.
This story keeps you riveted to the pages and makes you want more. And we'll get more----I hope sooner than later.
I'm so proud of you , Diane, and all your success. Every book you write becomes my "favorite". Keep it going------I love reading your books. And it appears others have also "found" you and enjoy your stories as much as I do. I'm so thrilled to have "known" you and can proudly say you're the greatest-because I always knew you were.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My daughter told me about this book because she liked it so much. So I thought I would give it a try as I had never read any of Diane Chamberlain's books before, but after reading " Before The Storm" I've become a Diane Chamberlain fan. Reading Before the Storm I could imagine all of it really happening, It's very realistic, true to life. It kept my attention and interest right to the end. I'm now reading and loving the sequel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Before the Storm is the first of two in a series by Diane Chamberlain. It was a little like the couple of other books I have read by this author. Surprises along the way that some of the characters know, but not all of them. Lies, deceit and infidelity wend there way through the story.

Laurel after the birth of her first child Maggie, sank into depression and then into alcoholism. While in that state she fell pregnant and so Andy is born with Fetal Alcohol Apectrum Disorder (FASD). Later when she has recovered and regained the care of Andy she devotes herself to his upbringing and care. It was very interesting to see how Andy is and the challenges inherent in raising him. He takes many things literally and needs help with ordering his life. He is a loveable character, although it is heart breaking to see how he is belittled by peers.

Maggie is a little older, supposedly the one who can be relied on, a successful student and responsible sister. She misses her Dad, who died when she was eight, and with whom she bonded early in life, during those years when Laurel was unavailable to her. How has that all affected her? Well let's just say Laurel is in for a few surprises.

Marcus is the brother of Jamie - Lauren's husband and Maggie's and Andy's father. Growing up in their family of origin, Jamie was the favoured son, Marcus the black sheep. But are people really all black or all white? They might be treated as such but in actuality it is rarely so. So what secrets do these brothers hold?

As well involved in the story is Sara, sort of a back seat character, not very much present in the story, yet at certain times a key player. Sara and Lauren are close friends, well supposedly, maybe they are, maybe not.
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Chamberlain has told another good story with good character development. Enlightening us on the problems of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Diane does a great job on this little known problem. The characters were real and honest and raw. I liked the book and just started the sequel.
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I accidentally read the sequel to this novel first (Secrets She Left Behind), but even though I knew what ultimately happened, I still really enjoyed learning the back story and getting to know each of the characters on a deeper level. Diane Chamberlain keeps me riveted and I think it's because I come to know and care very deeply for her characters. I cannot put her books down!
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