Title: Secrets She Left Behind
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Release Date: May 26, 2009
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3 out of 5
Maggie Lockwood is being released from prison after serving a year-long sentence for setting fire to a church. Keith Weston was one of the people injured in the fire, and along with his mother Mary, he dreads the thought of Maggie coming home. But when Mary disappears, Keith is alternately angry with the Lockwoods and devastated by the fact that he seems to be alone, even though the Lockwoods are the closest thing he has to family.
While I’ve heard great things about Diane Chamberlain, it’s only in the last few months I’ve been reading her books. Books such as The Lies We Told and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes have really intrigued me, so I was eager to pick up Secrets She Left Behind.
I really wish I had known that Secrets She Left Behind was a sequel before I read it. Apparently the first part of the story is told in the book Before the Storm. Had I known this, I definitely would have read these books in order. I really felt like I was missing something for a lot of the book and didn’t really connect with the characters, which wouldn’t have been an issue if I had read Before the Storm first. Additionally, I felt like the book was a little too soap opera-ish, something I don’t think I would have felt if I was more invested in the characters.
That being said, Secrets She Left Behind did keep me interested from beginning to end. I was curious to see how everything would turn out, and whether Keith would finally find some peace with the Lockwoods. However, I don’t really have any desire to go back and read Before the Storm because it seems like everything that happens in the book is covered in this one. I still really like Diane Chamberlain and am excited about her books, but this one just didn’t work for me as a standalone.