The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

One of the greatest things to come with diving into the social world of the love of reading is discovering new authors. I discovered Diane about 3 years ago, and have loved her books ever since. I wish I had known about her for much longer!

Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: When Kayla Carter’s husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It’s clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area…and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla’s elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it’s clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families. 

Diane’s books are just some of the most wonderful stories I’ve read that stick with you for the rest of time. This is one of those stories. While many of my readers know that I’m not a huge fan of alternating timelines, I get so excited when I find authors that do it well. This is one of those authors. The historical context was captivating and impeccable. I found myself wanting to know more outside of the book. I highly recommend this book for you to read.

5/5 Stars

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

I’m still shocked that it had taken me so long to read a book by Diane as “The Dream Daughter” was my first novel read by her. Here is her latest one from earlier this year.

Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.
What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies? 

I always love that her stories take place in towns that I love, whether it be in Maryland (The Stolen Marriage) or North Carolina like this one. As there is some timeline differences throughout the novel, it flows very well. It’s not confusing to keep track of, and it’s fun to have in the first place. I don’t feel like this story was as good as The Dream Daughter or The Stolen Marriage (the only other two I have read by Diane so far), but it does not disappoint. It’s a compelling story that focuses on a lot of important historical social issues during these two time periods. It reads a lot like a mystery which I enjoyed! I don’t think it’s one to pass up!

4/5 Stars

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

I’m new to the Diane Chamberlain world and I’m definitely way too late to the party. I should’ve started reading her books a long time ago! She’s a North Carolinian like myself so these books have had a special place in my heart.

Thank you St Martin’s Press for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tess has everything going for her: she’s engaged to a doctor, about to graduate from nursing school, and has wonderfully supportive friends and family. Things start to go a-wire when Tess’ fiance leaves for a trip to help the polio crisis in Chicago. What was supposed to be a quick trip turned into something much longer, leaving Tess to question their relationship. She heads out on a quick getaway with her best friend which leads her to an unforgetable one-night stand. The outcome? She’s pregnant. Is she going to throw away everything she has going for her and end up better off or worse?

This book also takes place in Baltimore, the place I was born and raised myself. I may be a little biased when reading this because I’m quite familiar with both locations that this story takes place in and I’m able to pain such a vivid picture of all the events going on because of it. It’s such a feel good story that leaves you full of emotions. It’s not just about Tess’ pregnancy, but also all the people she comes across in her lifetime (and the impact she makes in their lives). It made me cherish this book so much more than when I first started reading it. What a beautiful story. And the ending? Always worth the read when it comes to a Diane Chamberlain book. I love the ending!

4.5/5 Stars

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

dream daughter.JPG

I have just recently become a Diane Chamberlain fan. Where has she been my whole life!? I have a lot of catching up to do with her books, but this was a great place to start.

Thank you St Martin’s Press for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Carly Sears has recently lost her husband in the Vietnam war and just found out that her daughter that she’s pregnant with has a fatal heart condition. For it being 1970, there is no sucess rate for the pregnancy. Carly is devestated. In comes her brother-in-law Hunter with a life-changing soultion. He can help her travel to the future to get the procedure needed and save her daughter’s life. Does she decide to make the travel? Does her daughter survive?

This book captured my attention right away and I could not put it down. I don’t want to give away too many details about this one because I feel like it spoils the whole experience for you if I do. I will say that about half way through the book, I got mad. I felt all the frustrations of Carly and I wanted to throw the book across the room. But, I digress….I had to keep going to find out what happened and I’m so glad I did. The twist at the end of the book was so well worth it and the ending was absolutely perfect.

4/5 Stars