REVIEW – The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

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Expected publication: October 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

 

I have been reading Diane Chamberlain’s books for many years and I am always excited when a new book is going to be released. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read an early copy of “The Dream Daughter”.

I think that the blurb for this book is very well written. It doesn’t give all the good stuff away, and I promise I won’t either. I didn’t know very much going into this novel and I’m glad it worked out that way.

The story begins in 1970. Twenty-six-year-old Caroline (Carly) Sears has just been told that the baby she’s carrying has a heart defect. Carly has already been through so much in the last year. So when she learns that it’s unlikely that anything can be done to help her baby, she is devastated. This baby means everything to Carly.

Thankfully she has the support of her sister, Patti and brother in law, Hunter. Hunter came to be a part of their family just a few years before. He is a physicist and he feels he can help Carly and her baby. He desperately wants to help her. But what Hunter tells Carly sounds unbelievable. At first, she wonders if he’s teasing her….and then she wonders if he’s lost his mind.

However, Carly will do anything if it means there is even the smallest possibility of saving her unborn child.

Wow! I LOVED this novel. I hated putting it down. But as I got close to the end, I started slowing down. I really didn’t want it to be over yet. I’m so thankful that I have a mother who will let me go on and on about the books I’m reading. But this time she asked me to stop sharing what was happening…. I got her hooked and now she wants to read it herself.

I will be honest; there was a moment or two near the beginning where I wondered if this book might not be for me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the direction the story was taking. But I shouldn’t have worried as before I knew it, I was completely engrossed in the story.

I have so much respect for Diane Chamberlain. She takes chances and pushes the boundaries with her writing. This novel crosses genres that I never expected. “The Dream Daughter” is a wonderful story about love, family, courage, and the unbelievable power of a mother’s love.

In my opinion, this was definitely another home run by Diane Chamberlain. The unique story captured my imagination and all of the characters captured my heart. I highly recommend this novel, and I really hope that everyone who reads it loves it as much as I do.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Favorite Books – read & released in 2017

Wow!

2017 is almost done. How did THAT happen? I feel like it was just January.  I blinked and here we are in the last days of the year.

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I read a lot of awesome books this year. Amazing books that entertained me, made me laugh, and some that made me cry.  I’m putting my top ten in this post, although I read a lot more than ten great reads. I also read a lot of fantastic books that will be released in 2018. But this list is only those read and released in 2017!

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The following are my favorite reads released in 2017  (in no particular order) :

 

She Rides Shotgun   by Jordan Harper

Published May 4,  2017 by Simon & Schuster

This was a fantastic read. Loaded with action and emotion. With one of my favorite characters this year…a stuffed bear!

She Rides Shotgun

Little Fires Everywhere    by Celeste Ng

Published September 12, 2017 by Penguin Press

This was an intriguing and compelling domestic drama. A story about motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, and so much more. Great characters and an interesting plot made this a fast and fantastic read.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The Marsh King’s Daughter  by Karen Dionne

Published June 13,  2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
An amazing read that I really could have read in one sitting. Compelling, intense, and unputdownable. This is another book that is going to stay with me for a very long time.

The Marsh King's Daughter

If The Creek Don’t Rise  by Leah Weiss

Published August 22,  2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

An emotional and heartbreaking read. Honest and gritty with a great plot and fantastic characters. This was another novel that was very hard to put down once I started reading. 
If The Creek Don't Rise

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine  by Gail Honeyman

Published May 18, 2017 by HarperCollins
This was a surprise hit for me. I won this novel in a giveaway..THANK GOODNESS! I don’t know if I would have picked it up otherwise.  It was FANTASTIC!  A unique, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and inspiring read. Eleanor Oliphant stole my heart!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

Published January 31, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Another fantastic read that had me hooked from the very start. A story about love and loss, life and death, and above all, healing and forgiveness. One of the best debut novels I’ve read.

I Liked My Life

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Published September 5,  2017 by Harper

A phenomenal read. With a thoroughly engrossing plot and excellent characterization, “The Child Finder” had me hooked from start to finish.

The Child Finder

The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

Published October 2, 2017 by DCA

An excellent plot with fantastic characterization made this an incredible read. A captivating, well-written, and well-paced novel about secrets, betrayal, guilt, lies, and so much more.

The Ghostwriter

The Stolen Marriage: A Novel  by Diane Chamberlain

Published October 3, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are usually written around real events in history. I always learn things reading her novels, while still enjoying a great story. This was a fantastic story about secrets, love, racism, betrayal, forgiveness and more.

The Stolen Marriage: A Novel

 

The Good Daughter  by Karin Slaughter

Published August 8, 2017 by William Morrow
This book was INTENSE! It honestly had me feeling ALL THE FEELS. I really did both laugh and cry while reading this novel. “The Good Daughter” had me in its clutches from page one until the very end, and I’m still feeling the after-effects. This was an addictive and compelling psychological thriller with a mind-bending and thoroughly engrossing plot.
The Good Daughter

 

I would like to thank everyone for visiting my blog and reading my posts!  I appreciate all of your comments. I have really enjoyed reading your reviews and blog posts, and I look forward to reading more of them in the future!

From what I’ve seen so far it looks like 2018 is going to be another year of fantastic reads!!

 

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REVIEW: The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

 

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The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
 
 
4.5 Stars!!!
 
 

Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors. So I was very excited to read “The Stolen Marriage”. I’m usually not a big fan of historical fiction novels but I always find that I am pulled in by whatever subject matter Ms. Chamberlain is writing about, and this time was no different.

The book opens in Baltimore, Maryland in August 1943. Tess DeMello is celebrating her twenty-third birthday and her fiancé, Vincent’s completion of his hospital residency. Tess has loved Vincent for as long as she can remember. Now that he’s a full-fledged doctor and Tess will be graduating from nursing school, they are looking forward to working side by side. She has it all planned. Where they will live, how many children they will have…everything. After being engaged for the last year she will finally be his bride in May 1944.

But in a shockingly turn of events, Tess ends her engagement to Vincent and marries a man she knows nothing about. She relocates to live with her new husband, Henry in Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory is NOTHING like Little Italy. Her new husband runs a fine furniture factory that’s been in his family for years. Everyone judges Tess thinking she married Henry for his money. They don’t trust her and many seem to outright despise her.

Now Tess is unhappy and trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who has many secrets. Although Henry can be very kind, he’s often moody. He’s usually late coming home and sometimes doesn’t come home at all – offering lame excuses for his absence. While their house is being built they must live with Henry’s mother and sister who barely tolerate Tess. People tell her that there are so many things she doesn’t know but won’t tell her what those things are.

 “It’s a terrible feeling, being despised. From the moment I set foot in Hickory, I felt the suspicion, distrust, and outright hostility of most of the people I met”

Tess is hit with one thing after another as things go from bad to worse, and it doesn’t look like things are going to get much better.

But when a polio outbreak hits Hickory, Tess is determined to do all she can to help. Will Tess ever find happiness and acceptance in Hickory? And will she ever find the love she so desperately wants and deserves?

After a promising start, there was a lot going on and at first it wasn’t pulling me in. However, I needn’t have worried as it wasn’t long before I was gripped by the story and excited to find out what was going to happen next. As usual, the author has created many wonderful characters. Some characters I absolutely loved and others that made me furious. I was annoyed with Tess at first and at times I wanted to shout at her to stand up for herself. But I also admired her ability to hold her head up high.

Diane Chamberlain writes fiction books but the stories are often written around real events in history such as the war, polio, racism etc. This novel was no different. I always learn new things when reading her novels, and often end up doing more of my own research to find out more. I found it interesting reading about a time that my mother lived in. In many ways it made me realize how fortunate I am, and how much I take for granted.

A fantastic story about secrets, love, racism, betrayal, forgiveness and so much more. I can’t wait to read more from Diane Chamberlain.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.