Customer Reviews for

Before the Storm

Average Rating 4.5
( 45 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    RIVETING!

    This is a complex story about Laurel, her life, her loves, her children.Laurel and Jaime have a baby, Maggie, after which she suffers from post-partum depression. As a result she felt unattached to her baby and a complete failure at everything. Laurel grew fond of and related to Jaime's brother, Marcus, who was the black sheep in the family and drank to cope. The next thing they knew Laurel was pulled into the drinking world too and slipped up one drunken night. Jaime and Laurel got back together just in time for Laurel to find out she's pregnant again. Still depressed and out of control, she continues to deaden her pain with wine coolers and as a result gives birth to a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. That's Laurel's wake-up call to turn her life around. Riveting! Compelling! Powerful!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Although her son Andy is fifteen years old, Nurse Laurel Lockwood keeps a close string on him because he suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder an illness she blames on herself. Whenever she feels he can go off without her safely, she is anxious but guilt propels her to allow him. Besides the obvious she knows she is overprotective. Thus Andy attends a youth function at their church Drury Memorial where everyone knows he is different as his ingenuousness makes him socially immature.----------------- When a fire breaks out in the church several people die, but heroic Andy saves many others. Laurel is elated that her son not only survived, but he saved lives. However, her euphoria turns to horror when a witness claims seeing Andy outside the church before the fire because of his handicap most consider him the arsonist even Laurel has doubts about her son¿s innocence.---------------- The complex tale grips readers as the audience obtains a deep look at how a tragic event impacts on the lives of several individuals, to include not just mother and son, but his older sister Maggie and others. Diane Chamberlain effortlessly changes perspective, which enables the reader to not only see what that person sees, but also into how their present perspective is impacted by their relative past. With a plausible critical spin BEFORE THE STORM is a fascinating tale as a smothering mother recalls her vow when Andy was ten hours old and taken from her, but fears this incident tests her resolve.------------ Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2010

    Awesome Read

    I love everything by Diane Chamberlain. This happened to be the 2nd book of hers that I read. Make sure that you read this book FIRST before reading "The Secrets She Left Behind" as it is a continuation of this book. Fortunately I read them in order but didn't realize the 2 books went together when I first purchased them.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    Powerfully Haunting

    I found Before the Storm, by Diane Chamberlain, enchanting. Diane Chamberlain is an award-winning author of seventeen novels. She resides in North Carolina. Laurel Lockwood, due to post-partum depression and alcoholism, lost her son to the system. Returned at a year old, Laurel spent the rest of her life making up for her mistakes and being the best mom she could be to them. Her son, Andy has special needs and she hesitated to let him go to the church lock-in social. The church that night is consumed by fire, trapping the children and chaperones inside. Andy survives and manages to save others, as well. But the hero of the small town quickly turns into a suspect when some witnesses step forward and evidence is found tying him to the arson. Her daughter, Maggie has secrets of her own as the plot unfolds in this twisted investigation. Laurel finds herself asking how well she really knows her kids and how far she was willing to go to protect them. Taken in first person point of view, from several different sources, makes this book a compelling read. Normally first person is very difficult to make secondary characters stand out and be heard. But this book almost had no secondary characters, as each had a voice. The book also jumped from past to present, seeming as if you are reading two different stories at once. Typically when this is done, it makes the book drag out, but it only engaged me further. Doing this style also can be harder to follow, but that wasn¿t the case either. Diane Chamberlain is a mastermind at crimes of the soul. Before the Storm breaks your heart again and again with each chapter. Amongst this, the investigation is alluring and not at all predictable. There were a few twists the reader will see coming, but the way it was written you can¿t help but feel surprised anyhow. And whoa, the ones you don¿t see¿watch out. The characters were believable and relatable. It¿s hard to imagine they are fiction. Even down to the flaws you loved them, rooted for them. The plot flowed well, both the past and the present. I think most of all, I liked that the book was written without giving you a whole picture of the history of the characters or events. You had to learn both in pieces. Very intriguing. Before the Storm is a haunting, powerful, and mesmerizing story, sure to win the hearts of any audience. Kelly Moran Author and Reviewer

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    INTRIGUING! POWERFUL!

    Before the Storm is a riveting book and is a story that spans marriages, births, deaths, heartache, and betrayal; ultimately, that story demonstrates the strength and redemptive power of familial love.
    Haunting, intriguing and powerful!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    And The Plot Thickens...

    I read this book in one night {work the night shift}. I couldn't put it down until I found out every dirty little secret. There are so many twists and turns...you won't be disappointed with this book. I can't wait to read the follow-up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    loved it

    This is the second Diane Chamberlain book I read. Before the Storm had me on the first page. I loved her introduction of each character and each character was just as important to the story as the next. Each character had a personality and as they were "built" I felt like I got to know them from all directions. The story was unusual and I learned a lot about the damage a devastating fire(including burn victims) would cause. Everything seem plausible in that regard. I couldn't wait to get to the third Chamberlain book, Secrets She Left Behind.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    I found Before the Storm, by Diane Chamberlain, enchanting. Diane Chamberlain is an award-winning author of seventeen novels. She resides in North Carolina .<BR/><BR/>Laurel Lockwood, due to post-partum depression and alcoholism, lost her son to the system. Returned at a year old, Laurel spent the rest of her life making up for her mistakes and being the best mom she could be to them. Her son, Andy has special needs and she hesitated to let him go to the church lock-in social. The church that night is consumed by fire, trapping the children and chaperones inside. Andy survives and manages to save others, as well. But the hero of the small town quickly turns into a suspect when some witnesses step forward and evidence is found tying him to the arson. Her daughter, Maggie has secrets of her own as the plot unfolds in this twisted investigation. Laurel finds herself asking how well she really knows her kids and how far she was willing to go to protect them.<BR/><BR/>Taken in first person point of view, from several different sources, makes this book a compelling read. Normally first person is very difficult to make secondary characters stand out and be heard. But this book almost had no secondary characters, as each had a voice. The book also jumped from past to present, seeming as if you are reading two different stories at once. Typically when this is done, it makes the book drag out, but it only engaged me further. Doing this style also can be harder to follow, but that wasn¿t the case either.<BR/><BR/>Diane Chamberlain is a mastermind at crimes of the soul. Before the Storm breaks your heart again and again with each chapter. Amongst this, the investigation is alluring and not at all predictable. There were a few twists the reader will see coming, but the way it was written you can¿t help but feel surprised anyhow. And whoa, the ones you don¿t see¿watch out. The characters were believable and relatable. It¿s hard to imagine they are fiction. Even down to the flaws you loved them, rooted for them. The plot flowed well, both the past and the present. I think most of all, I liked that the book was written without giving you a whole picture of the history of the characters or events. You had to learn both in pieces. Very intriguing. Before the Storm is a haunting, powerful, and mesmerizing story, sure to win the hearts of any audience.<BR/><BR/> <BR/><BR/>Kelly Moran<BR/><BR/>Author and Reviewer

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Great read!

    After reading The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, I read Before the Storm, Diane Chamberlain's most recent novel. I thoroughly enjoyed both of them so much that I am now backtracking and reading others. I really liked the characters, family drama and suspense in Before the Storm. I highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2008

    Captivating in more than one sense . . .

    I stepped into the pages of Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain as my daughter born with fetal alcohol and adopted after the death of her birth mother was spiraling into the the abyss of mental health commitments and early adult transitioning challenges. Andy, born exposed prenatally to alcohol, captured my heart and as I watched my daughter toss and tumble into the realm of social services I found myself laying the book down for a moment to catch my breath and breath deeper to understand Laurel, Andy's mother - a very real character who unintentially left the sanity of a happy marriage and life at the birth of her first beautiful and intelligent daughter. She left through the door of undiagnosed post partum depression and filled the hole in her heart with a one night stand leading to the conception of her son, Andy, and a pregnancy filled with tasty wine coolers. I struggled with Laurel as she struggled with her alcoholism and depression knowing what she was creating, understanding the damage she was doing to the small person growing within, knowing with my own angst. I rejoiced in her rehabilitation and eventual reunification of the family. Life itself has many twists and turns and true to life, what often appears to be reality is only bits of truth. Before the Storm does justice to the work of families struggling with alcohol and its many outcomes. It does justrice to the reality of human frailty and interconnected relationships. I look forward to the sequel and hope Diane's work will add awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder 'FASD' to those who need to know.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    OUTSTANDING !!!

    One of the very best. The characters draws you into there lives, you feel there pain and love for one another. You don't want to let them go(i want to know more about maggie).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2009

    Wonderful!

    I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to get my hands on her other books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Well Done Expose of Fetal Alcohol

    Diane's previous professional work shows through in the storyline and character develop. She does not hold back in structuring in reality and the twists and turns that can happen in real life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Amazing.

    I Love this book so much. Its a book that is hard to put down. I was up till midnight or later reading it. Had a wonderful plot and really shows the incredible bond between a mother and daughter. This book is one of my all time favorites for sure!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    another good one

    Another great story by Diane Chamberlain. It explores the nature of love, commitment, and belief in innocence.

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  • Posted February 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Winner - A Powerful Story!

    Another winner by Diane Chamberlain! This was one of her older books which I had not read, and it was on my upcoming Nook-e book list to be published on 2/26/13. Normally I am an e-reader; however, was fortunate to find a print copy and finished it before I had a chance to pre-order the e-book. This book should do very well as new e-book!

    Similar to the controversial topics of Jodi Picoult books (have read all her books) and being Diane is one of my favorite authors, could not wait to dive in. I had to get up at 5:30am to finish it as could not wait for the finale!

    The book takes you through the lows of Laura –postpartum depression, alcoholism, and (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) FASD and the consequences of losing her children for a wakeup call and her struggles to find her way back. Along the way two brothers (Jamie and Marcus), best friend Sara, and the disability of Andy (her son) whom she lost years ago and a daughter whom she was not there for in the first years of her life. Combine it with arson, secrets from the past, and affairs---a page turner with a lot going on. Diane has a way of keeping the suspense coming throughout the book! I have purchased Secrets She Left Behind (Before the Storm #2) and look forward to the this powerful and compelling sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

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