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Chapter 20 - Secrets She Left Behind

Saturday Afternoon with Diane Chamberlain

My work commitment which I mentioned last week was selling books at the North Myrtle Beach library's visit from Diane Chamberlain. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a bookseller - often you get a chance to listen to an author speak about his/her writing process and new books AND sell books at the same time!

If you have not read her books, Diane writes about family relationships, flawed humans, and ethical issues. Not only is she a fine writer, her stories always real and compelling, but she is also an elegant and honest speaker. This was the second time Bookends has had an opportunity to provide books for one of her events and I enjoyed her talk this time as much as before.

Diane described her writing process to the group - she outlines and figures out the ending early on. She says that changes usually by the time she finishes writing the first chapter. At least once during the writing process she said, she declares that she hates the book she is working on. She also has fears about three-fifths of the way through that she won't either finish on deadline or her editor will hate the book too!

Diane's latest book is called The Stolen Marriage. It takes place in 1944 and is about a woman, Tess, who marries a man she really doesn't know. Because of the marriage she moves to Hickory, North Carolina and is very definitely not accepted into the society there. Suddenly, Hickory is hit with a polio epidemic and things change not only for Tess but also for Hickory. To tell you anymore would be to give away too much but suffice it to say I finished the book over a very busy weekend!

Aside from The Stolen Marriage, here are a few of my other Diane Chamberlain favorites.

Necessary Lies - The story takes place in the early 1960's in North Carolina and is about a young social worker who is given rural North Carolina as her territory. As the social worker becomes emotionally invested in her clients’ lives, it causes tension with her boss and her new husband. She begins to discover the secrets of her clients—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.

Pretending to Dance - Molly Arnette is good at keeping secrets. As she and her husband try to adopt a baby, she worries that the truth she’s kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well.

The Midwife's Confession - An unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle-her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family-described a woman who embraced life.

The Silent Sister - Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?

Do you have any Diane Chamberlain books that you'd recommend? Let me know!

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