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Breaking the Silence

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  5,265 ratings  ·  602 reviews
“My husband shot himself in our bedroom. When I got home, Emma was standing at the bottom of the stairs, screaming. ”

Since that awful day, Laura Brandon’s little girl hasn’t uttered a word. When a psychiatrist suggests that Emma won’t talk because she’s terrified of men, Laura is guilt-ridden. To help Emma, she needs to know what unspeakable secret lies behind her husban

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Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ann
I am so in love with this book. I was asked the other day what book I would pick if I could only have just one, and I think this book just might be it. It was one of those books that had me thinking afterwards. I was still making connections and asking myself questions about how one person knew another person in the past, or why somebody did what they did. This book involved so many different types of relationships and characters. I was very surprised at the amount of truth in this story. Chambe ...more
Nicola
It's hard to not compare Diane Chamberlain with Jodi Picoult (even the book cover does this) but I didn't really feel like I was reading a Picoult book. Chamberlain's writing is still very distinctive and unique and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

This book was nearly impossible to put down. It's full of fascinating characters and tons of mystery. The whole time I was just so eager to know what the truth was and there was plenty of keep me entertained until the final truth came out
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Lauralee
Can you say obsessed? My obsession with reading Ms. Chamberlain's works just keeps increasing. I don't know how I made it to the age of 44 without discovering this author. I am working my way through all of her books now.

Breaking the Silence was another winner, full of wonderful twists and secrets and surprises.

I used to work with clients who had mental illness and my mind went back to those people and how I would feel if the disturbing type of treatments were performed on them. It was disturb
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Natalya
Cute book, nice drama, complicated situation. Really liked that the characters are not perfect, act in questionable ways (Laura confronting Dylan, Laura's father keeping such secrets), feel remorse for it, get hurt. Chamberlain has a gift for making an outlandish situation come realistically to life. Liked the Dylan character and the psychiatrist. I did not see the last twist coming, thought it was a bit too much. I hated the book cover, it was this garish red and gold affair with an antebellum ...more
Denise
Solid but predictable mystery..., January 28, 2010
After reading a few of Diana Chamberlain's more recent novels, including my favorite, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, I could tell immediately when I started this one that I was reading one of her earlier books. That's not to say that this novel isn't good, it is -- but it is a fairly predictable story and the revelations at the end come as no surprise to any mystery reader. There are multiple things going on in the book but all eventually co
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Christa
I've read a number of Diane Chamberlain's books, and I tend to find them pretty enjoyable. They're the literary equivalent of a good made-for-TV movie--the characters pull you in, the story moves quickly, and you can just kind of relax and go along for the ride. They're easy to immerse yourself in, and good for the days you want some light entertainment.

This one had an interesting premise--right before Laura's father dies, he makes her promise that she'll take care of an old woman suffering from
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Louise
Forty-year-old Laura Brandon and her sixty-one-year-old husband, Ray, lived a hectic and hurried life in the town of Leesburg. They have a five-year-old daughter named, Emma.

A few minutes after eleven on Christmas night, Laura receives a phone call from the nurse at the hospital where her father, Carl Brandon, is currently dying of cancer. Laura got dressed and headed out the door leaving Ray at home to watch Emma as she felt there was no point in waking her daughter at this time of night and dr
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Kim
Eileens bookclub choice - I enjoyed the quick flow of the book and the easy reading for a change with a good storyline. Missing bookclub and I would love to have discussed the undertone of this book which is true guilt and felt guilt.

Dylan has guilt of a plane crash, not his fault
Gilbert (Ray) has guilt for what his work did to a child's family
Laura's father has guilt for keeping a secret of daughters roots
Laura has guilt for working too much
Sarah has guilt for not doing more for her patients
E
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Eomicheli
Easy read with a happy ending! I liked the unexpected twist. Not sure why I didn't see it coming!!!
Heather O....I love books
Wow! Wow! This is going to be another favorite for me. The suspense, the love, the confusion, the heartache and heartwarming feel of it. I can't wait to discuss this one at book group. Diane has a style of writing that is effortless but at the same time gives so much power and emotion. What a story!!
Booklover, Indianapolis
(Nov) This was my first Diane Chamberlain book. When reading the descriptions of her books, they always sounded a bit Jodi Picoult-ish to me, who is, for me, hit and miss. I was not sure what to expect from this, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I found this quite gripping in parts and really had a hard time putting it down, as I really did't know how the various storylines were going to intersect and wrap up together.

Laura promises her dying father she will check on an older woman - a w
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Pooja Jeevagan
Another one of Diane Chamberlain's novel which just sucks you in (I completed it in less than 24 hours after all ;) )

Not that the story is completely believable, but the background premise is on true happenings of that period (like is the case with most of her work)...and I kind of liked almost all the characters...it being on the psychological side probably adds to the charm (don't we all wonder how psychological fit and sane we are...why we do things the way we do...)

It's nice to see the lead
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Leah
Laura Brandon’s promise to her dying father was simple: to visit an elderly woman she’d never heard him speak of before. A woman who remembers nothing – except the distant past. Visiting Sarah Tolley seemed a small enough sacrifice to make. But Laura’s promise results in another death – her husband’s. And after their five-year-old daughter, Emma, witnesses her father’s suicide, Emma refuses to talk about it…or to talk at all. Frantic and guilt-ridden, Laura contacts the only person who may be ab ...more
Bree T
Laura’s father is slowly dying and the nurse has called her to inform her that his time has come. Laura rushes to the hospital where her father makes her promise that she will take care of a woman named Sarah Tolley. Laura has never heard of Sarah Tolley but seeing as this is her father’s dying wish she assures him that she will go see her and make sure that she is okay. When she goes home and tells her husband Ray of her father’s request, to her surprise, Ray is very hostile about it. He says t ...more
Melissa
This book was full of so many different stories, and they were all intertwined so well. I didn't have any idea of the relations of the characters to each other until it was all revealed toward the end of the novel. I suppose if I had been paying closer attention I might have, but I like to escape into most of the books I read rather than analyze them all.

It's hard to believe the craziness of the experiments in the 50's in regards to psychiatric facilities. Having taken several psychology course
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Mary
Rather far-fetched and a little too "happily ever after, everything tied up in a neat litle bow" for my taste, told in well-written if generic prose, this novel nevertheless was a fast and entertaining read. An excellent "beach book", or perfect for when you want to take a break to read something light. I'm not terribly fond of children or books with children as main characters, but Ms. Chamberlain graciously refrained from making 5 year old Emma overly cutesy and precocious. Of course, it proba ...more
Gina
Actually, I give this 3 and half stars. The writing was good, as it always is with Chamberlain, but I found myself wishing it would move along a little faster. I loved the mystery of Sarah and her story, in fact, that was what kept me turning the pages. The suspense of wondering about Ray's suicide, the father's request, Sarah's long lost husband, and other little intriguing bits and how it would all tie together kept me coming back for more. However, I quickly got bored with the mute daughter a ...more
Hollie
This is a really good, book at the beginning of the book you learn about the death of Laura's father and him telling her to look after Sarah Tolley a woman that Laura has never heard of before, the aftermath of this is that Laura's husband Ray seems to be completely against her doing this and gets very upset at her saying that she will find out why this woman is so important to her father.

Laura, against her husbands wishes, visits Sarah Tolley at the nursing home and finds that she has altzimers
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Maggie61
Another great book by Diane Chamberlain.
While she tells a great story as always, this one had more serious and upsetting tones than some of the others I have read and was more difficult to read. Her stories always touch the emotions of the reader, but this one was so tragic in so many ways that your heart breaks at the missed opportunities and devestation that the characters feel.
I have to admit, I had no idea where the story would go, didn't have much of a clue who the characters were in refer
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Kim Pimental
My problem with this book was that the character's reactions to each of their circumstances were unbelievable. The whole plot depended on no one having a courageous, intelligent response. The whole tragic story could have been avoided if any of the characters had made the decision to call the police or tell the truth. Because of sheer stupidity I gave it two stars.
Victoria Watson
Diane Chamberlain writes this compelling story of Laura, a woman whose father makes her promise – on his deathbed – to look after a woman she’s never heard of. Shortly after, Laura’s husband kills himself, leaving her daughter mute. The tale that unfolds is so intelligent that I could weep! In fact, I did. This story is so well-written that I could not put it down.

The story has so many layers that there is no way you could not enjoy it. There’s romance, mystery, crime, science and history.

Chambe
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Paula
As always, I love Diane Chamberlain's writing - she is one of my favorite authors. Her character development is so wonderful! My favorite part of this novel was the story of Sarah Tolley. The tale of her work in the psychiatric hospital was heartbreaking and absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately, although I loved the characters, I think that some of the relationships among them became a bit too tangled and highly improbable in real life. Laura's husband's tale (and the reason he committed suicid ...more
Jessica Ellis
I'd rate the book a 4.5 (if possible :)) As usual, Diane Chamberlain entertains... I was captivated immediately by the topic of the book - specifically as it related to the treatment of the mentally ill in the 1950's and the far fetched ideas the "asslyms" used to treat the patients.

I probably would have given the book 5 stars, but i had figured out early on the role/relationship of one of the twists within the book. I will admit though, that in true Diane Chamberlain style; i was surprised by
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Amardeep Sodhi
Diane Chamberlain is an exceptional writer with an ability to draw you into the story and feel for all the characters. A master at creating riveting novels, based largely on family relationships and emotions. This book explores themes of guilt and forgiveness, and the extent to which a mother can go to protect her children.
Alzheimer ridden Sarah, who is forever stuck in the horrors of her past, and unable to fathom the effects of the latest happenings, is a character who will amaze you with her
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Teena in Toronto
On his deathbed, Laura's father makes her promise that she will look out for an elderly woman named Sarah Tolley. Laura's husband, Ray, forbids her to do so and commits suicide when she's visiting Sarah. Their five-year-old daughter, Emma, witnesses it and becomes mute and fearful of men. Laura takes Emma to therapy and her therapist suggests that she might benefit from a positive male influence. Laura contacts Dylan, Emma's birth father (Emma is the result of a one night stand), to see if he wa ...more
Crissy Accordino
I read this book after finishing another title by Diane Chamberlain, Necessary Lies. I think this is another great read! It's a two part narration, which I normally hate, but I was interested in both stories! The first is that of a mother who loses her husband through a traumatic suicide days after her own father has passed away. The death is somehow correlated to the husband's strong distaste for her father's dying wish to take care of a woman in a retirement community. To make matters heavier, ...more
Margaret
Thank goodness this was not the first Chamberlain book I read. I would have just considered it a ho-hum read and never searched for other books written by this author whom I have come to rely on for sharp, emotion-filled books that cover so many current social issues of our times. This book is definitely one of Chamberlain's first efforts and it shows in the long, detailed plot that takes so many contrived and unbelievable twists and turns to finally get to the ending of what is meant to be both ...more
Julia
I really enjoyed this book and didnt want to put it down, especially towards the end!

This book, as with many of Diane Chamberlains books, is telling not one but two stories. Each of the stories grabs you in and you almost dont want it to switch to the other because you want it to continue, but when you start the other story you then become attached to that one and so on.

Diane Chamberlain always manages to leave you guessing the connection between the two tales until right at the very end and no
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Lavender and Suzanne
Laura Brandon is an astronomer who travels the world together with her daughter. Then her father dies and he explicitly asks her to visit Sarah Tolley which she does. She leaves Emma with her husband Ray. When she comes back something terrible has happened. Ray has killed himself and Emma's stopped talking, so Laura doesn't exactly know what happened to her child. When she takes Emma to a therapist she's been given the advise to find Emma's real father.
Diane Chamberlain tells both Laura and Emma
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Rachel Lim
I couldn't put the book down and that happens only when the story is gripping. This is only my 2nd book from this author and I've already made up my mind that I'm gonna read every single book by her. This book is part of everything : mystery, suspense, drama and a little romance. The story started with Laura's father who on his deathbed, made her promise to look after a total stranger by the name of Sarah Tolley who is currently staying in a retirement home funded by him. Who is this Sarah Tolle ...more
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Diane Chamberlain is the USA Today and London Times bestselling author of 23 novels published in more than twenty languages. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a com ...more
More about Diane Chamberlain...
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes The Midwife's Confession Necessary Lies The Silent Sister The Good Father

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