March 26, 2015

Before the Storm Diane Chamberlian

Before the Storm
Diane Chamberlain
Published: Mira Au
Date: 2008
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 470
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Own book
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Fifteen-year-old Andy Lockwood is special. Others notice the way he blurts out anything that comes into his mind, how he cannot foresee consequences, and that he's more child than teenager. But his mother sees a boy with a heart as open and wide as the ocean.

Laurel Lockwood lost her son once through neglect. She's spent the rest of her life determined to make up for her mistakes, and she's succeeded in becoming a committed -- if overprotective -- parent.

Still, she loosens her grip just enough to let Andy attend a local church social -- a decision she regrets when the church is consumed by fire.

But Andy survives... and remarkably, saves other children from the flames. Laurel watches as her son becomes the darling of their community, basking in the postive attention he's always craved.But when the suspicion of arson is cast upon Andy, Laurel will risk everything to prove his innocence. Except she could never have known just how many secrets would surface in her desperate bid to clear his name…
My thoughts banner
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.  I think I will hold that question until I read the book that follows this one to make my mind up.

This is a story of mistakes and wrong turnings, however it does hold the promise of new paths and possibilities.  I'll be looking forward to reading on, to find out what takes place for these characters a little along the road.
3.5 stars


  1. The book seems interesting though I am not so sure about my sympathies regarding mothers who neglect their kids.

    Congratulations on New Zealand reaching the World Cup finals. They played like true champions. Now I am keeping my fingers crossed as India clash with Australia.

    1. Neer
      Thank you, the NZ and South Africa game was a tight one, could hardly watch in a relaxed state! I had such sympathy for the SA team at the end, they were so gutted. Sorry now that India is gone. Hoping they would get through too.

  2. Sounds like many sad scenerios in this story. I hope part two picks up.

    1. Indeed Pat, I will need to read the follow up soon so that I don't lose the thread.

  3. Thanks for your wonderful, honest review.

    I enjoy Diane Chamberlain's books.


  4. Sounds interesting. I've only read one DC book so far but I loved how emotionally involved I got with her characters.

  5. I really enjoy Diane Chamberlain's writing but I imagine this one would be tough to read with a mother's alcoholism affecting her baby, I've nursed newborns with FAS and it's just so sad. It's on Mt TBR ...


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