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Secret Lives Paperback – January, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 331 customer reviews

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Paperback, January, 1992
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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 --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 487 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (Mm) (January 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061099503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061099502
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,256,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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