The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Sorry that it has been a wee bit quiet on Dot Scribbles recently but I've not been too well, so there has been lots of sleeping during the day rather than blogging! I'm back now though and I have just finished The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain which was fantastic. I had noticed it on quite a few other blogs and managed to swap a copy with someone, it's definitely worth a read.

Would you live a lie to keep your child?
In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.
CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve died - because she was there. She also knows what happened to .missing infant, because two decades ago CeeCee made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own.
Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and CeeCee has another choice to make. Tell the truth and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die to protect a lifetime of lies.

I have read many reviews that have compared this book to those of Jodi Picoult's, I have to say that I think this is better. I always feel that the characters are a little bit distant in Picoult's books but Diane Chamberlain's characters are completely believable and vivid. The action in the book starts immediately as we observe Corinne Bailey's reaction to her mother, CeeCee Wilke's confession about her involvement in the kidnapping of Genevieve Russell. The reader is then taken back to when the devastating events occurred and we begin to build up a picture of the type of person CeeCee Wilkes was at that time and what led her to make the momentous decisions that she did. The scenes described between the young CeeCee and Genevieve are devastating and you can feel the panic and guilt experienced by CeeCee which then permeates throughout the rest of the story.
There is a lot of action in this book but the main purpose is to explore how we deal with the consequences of our actions. Diane Chamberlain explores this by showing how CeeCee Wilkes tried to live her life and bring up the child that she had kidnapped in a loving and stable environment. You gain a real sense though that since that fateful day, CeeCee Wilkes has never been at peace, she has constantly been looking over her shoulder and this is an awful way to live a life. The character of CeeCee Wilkes obviously changes during the book and there were many occasions that I really did not like her but when you see her having to make the decision at the end of the book you see what a completely remarkable person she is.
The very first page of the book obviously gives away the ending and this is quite a long book. So what keeps you reading? For me there were so many things that I wanted to know. What happened to Timothy Gleason? How did CeeCee Wilkes survive? Why did she confess to her actions? How will her 'daughter' react to the knowledge that her whole life has been a lie?
The Lost Daughter in many ways is a simple thriller yet I felt that it was a little bit more than that. As a reader, you are really forced to ask yourself so many questions as you wander how you would react in those situations. Diane Chamberlain takes a really exciting story and uses it to look at some of the most basic aspects of human nature.


Amy said...

Nice review, sounds good! I do enjoy Jodi Picoult so if this author is comparable to her - but even better, as you say! - then seems like I would enjoy this.

Incidentally, the cover of this book looks a lot like the covers of Rachel Hore's book. She's got a new one out at the moment which is scarily similar. I recommend her by the way - try 'The Memory Garden'.

Sorry to hear you've not been well, but glad you're better now! x

Dot said...

Thanks Amy and thanks for the book suggestion, I shall keep my eyes open for that one!

Anonymous said...

I love Jodi Picoult and if you say this book is better than her books, well I think I must give this a try. Love the cover too.

Dot said...

Violet- I would definitely reccommend it! The cover is lovely!

Anonymous said...

May I also suggest you read The Lost Daughter by Daralyse Lyons. It is a fabulous, earth-shattering novel, poignant and psychologically evokative, and deep...


Dot said...

Anonymous- Thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...

Just finished reading this book and absolutely loved it!! I have to say though, where you may have not liked her character (CeeCee) from time to time, I loved her throughout! Diane Chamberlain has done an excellent job of helping us connect so strongly to the characters!!
Don't suppose you have any other suggestions of books like this one?

Dot said...

Anonymous- Glad that you enjoyed it! I think that Jodi Picoult's books are quite similar, she's written loads as well!

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