Book Review: Secrets She Left Behind by Diane Chamberlain


Maggie is finally leaving prison. She had been behind bars for the last one year. Convicted for setting a fire that killed many children, and one that almost took her own brother’s life, she is in living hell. Her release from prison, sadly hasn’t released her from the prison of guilt.

Keith Wes has had his life turned upside down in the last year. He almost lost his life, by an act of arson. He has been terribly disfigured, and now the person responsible for it all is coming back from prison. He feels that Maggie had it easy. The fact that Maggie and he are half siblings has not helped, given the fact that he and his mother Sara live in half poverty, while Maggie and her family live in comparative opulence.

The day that Maggie is release, is already one full of tension for Keith and to add to that, his mother, goes out to the shops and doesn’t come back. Keith, is left alone, without any money or help, at a time when he needs it the most. His mother, a devoted mother would have never done something like this, so what exactly went wrong, is something Keith and others around him need to find out.

Meanwhile Maggie discovers how much people in her town hate her. Nothing prepares her for the hostility she faces. Nothing she does can ever make up for what she did, and she knows it better than anybody else. Life as she knew it has come to an end. Only the support she has from her family, her mother, uncle and brother keeps her going. But she can’t hide inside her house, she has to make an effort to build a life for herself.

Full of twists and turns, Secrets She Left Behind is a page turner. Family secrets that come tumbling out, secrets that made people behave in ways they might not have, unexpected twists that change the course of the story. What made Sara walk out and not return? Who is Jen, the mysterious girl who befriends both Keith and Maggie. I couldn’t put it down. Narrated by each of the characters, it gives an insight into each of their thoughts. Maggie’s remorse and guilt, Keith’s torment, the rest of Maggie’s family’s lives and experiences and how each of them add interesting facets to the story. A sequel to Before the Storm, I think I enjoyed it even more than the first book. Or is it that I can’t remember it as clearly, I don’t know. What I can say for sure, is that this book was a wonderful read. A quick, exciting page turner, it was un-put-downable.

About the author

Award-winning author Diane Chamberlain, was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, and attended Glassboro State University. She also lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia, where she still resides. She is an author of 22 novels. She usually writes about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends.

This book is available from Amazon(UK) and Flipkart.