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Before the Storm (Before The Storm #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  9,477 Ratings  ·  614 Reviews
It’s often difficult for me to characterize my books, and Before the Storm is no exception. It’s part suspense, part mystery, and one hundred percent family drama. It’s about how far family members will go to protect one another. It’s about the choices people make that come back to haunt them. And it’s about the gradual unfolding of truths that keep the characters on edge ...more
Published June 1st 2008 by Mira (first published June 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Julie (jjmachshev)
Should you measure your life by the mistakes you’ve made? Or whether or not you let those mistakes define your life? “Before the Storm” by Diane Chamberlain is a gut-wrenching tale of mistakes, forgiveness, and endurance. This story made me cry. No, not just cry, but sob. This is NOT a happily ever after tale. This is a getting through and learning to live with what life throws at you tale. There’s so much more that you’ll just have to read the book to understand, but I’ll do my best to give you ...more
Kelly Moran
Jul 18, 2008 Kelly Moran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews
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 cons
Jul 14, 2008 Jodee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Extended family members of persons with FASD
Recommended to Jodee by: Diane Chamberlain
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 Laur ...more
Nov 04, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
As the first in a two-part series, I enjoyed this story following several different characters - told alternately - as their lives become interwoven and complex, as per standard Chamberlain territory. The author is talented at her genre; family relationship sagas with a good dose of mystery, romance and drama melted in.

Andy was born with the developmental disability Foetal Alcohol Syndrome as a result of his mothers addiction during pregnancy. He sees the world optimistically and rather naively
Mar 07, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my 5th Diane Chamberlain novel, and like all the rest, once I begin, it is very difficult to stop; the chapters just seem to fly by. Sometimes I do feel there is a predictability to her stories, but then a big surprise reveals itself that I did not see coming which is also true in Before the Storm.

Loved it!

Jan 09, 2014 Noeleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, interesting characters, engaging plot and well written. I loved that it was told from different character perspectives, Andy's chapters were definitely my favourite and they were so well written for his character. There were some good twists and turns that I didn't expect. Overall a very good read.
Jul 02, 2008 Kathy added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Kathy by: I always read Diane Chamberlain.
Did not like this book or the characters. I have read and enjoyed most of Diane Chamberlain's books but this one fell flat. I have no patience with people wallowing in self pity such as alcoholics. Laurel Lockwood, the main character, was a nurse who should have known that she needed the help that was offered for her depression following the birth of her daughter. Two children were mentally injured by Laurel's poor choices. Maybe the wrong person was sent to jail.
Jun 26, 2008 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently called the "Southern Jodi Picoult," Diane Chamberlain is an author you must read. This book is the first I've read from her, and definatley not the last. Surprises, twists, in depth character development, truely a gifted writer. This book is a quick easy read, great for the beach or vacations or just about anywhere. Let me know what you think.
Jun 05, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before The Storm is a complex family story filled with suspense, secrets and heart wrenching emotions. It is a story of hope and with a message that past mistakes can be overcome. Looking forward to the sequel.
Aug 03, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Another good novel by Diane Chamberlain with in depth character development and many twists and turns. I thought I had it figured out but the ending was a complete surprise. Easy, enjoyable read.
Kathryn Ann
Jun 11, 2008 Kathryn Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real page-turner. It is a very easy read and keeps you thinking. There is a great twist at the end.
This book had me from the first page.....I knew the main character, Andy, had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as a friend who recommended the book to me had told me....I don’t feel this is a spoiler because you learn this piece of information early in the book. I know very little about FAS and yet I KNOW this boy intimately and I LOVE this boy like my own....he is a fictional boy version of my oldest daughter....and he gives a voice to my son....and he is an expressive version of my youngest daughter.... ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laurel and Jamie fell in love serendipitously, almost as if the events that brought them together were fated. An accident between her car and his motorcycle, but with no injuries. But they both knew right away that they were destined to be together.

When Laurel got pregnant, they got married, and everything was perfect. Until after their daughter Maggie was born. Laurel's depression and how she felt nothing for the baby might have started when she and the baby were separated shortly after the bir
Minty McBunny
While it was filled with many unlikeable people, I did enjoy this story well enough up until the ending when it all fell apart.

I felt it was implausible, if not downright impossible, to believe that the arsonist would wait as long as they did to confess, given who was accused and how far the repercussions of those accusations were reaching. No decent human being (which we're led to believe the arsonist is) could stand by and watch someone they care about go through the hell the accused was subj
Aug 21, 2014 ChapterOne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this was my first Diane Chamberlain book. Her story telling is very similar to Jodi Picoult's. I think JP is still the Queen Bee of her genre. But DC is not bad either.

The story is a family drama with plenty of twists and turns to hold your interest. At times it does get a bit cheesy, and the characters seem a bit two dimensional, and it seems like the author is trying a bit too hard. But I didn't roll my eyes too much - haha :) And I finished it - I'm so quick to abandon a book - I should g
Jan 01, 2009 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading "The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes" I added Chamberlain's name to my list of authors to read and I'm not sorry I picked up "Before the Storm". A complex, skillfully written story is told from the prospective of the main characters involved in the life of Andy Lockwood, a fetal alcohol baby, his mother, Laurel, sister, Maggie, and Uncle Marcus and you wind up not knowing who to feel the sorriest for.
Katie O
Aug 02, 2008 Katie O rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed her most recent book so much (The Secret Life of Cee-Cee Wilkes), that I picked up this other novel that Chamberlain wrote. She has a style really similar to Jodi Piccoult's - definitely keeps your attention through the whole book and develops the different characters well. Great beach reading.
alicia grant
Aug 08, 2008 alicia grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much going on.The main character I didn't think I was going to like and while there was so many upsetting things about the stroyline i really enjoyed the book.A great one one a flawed family.It really pulled at my heart strings and made me want to slap and hug the family at the same time.
Aug 17, 2008 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another great book from Diane Chamberlain...I'm so glad I picked it up. There was never a slow moment in this one. I loved how it was told from all the character's points of view throughout the story. It surprised me at the end even when I thought I had it figured out!
May 24, 2015 Krissy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I got thoroughly sucked into this story, and it's different layers. If you read this, be prepared to fall in love with Andy and all the others. Told through multiple perspectives (my favourite), this left me so excited to read the sequel, which I am going to start right away.
Jul 27, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, another one by Diane Chamberlain that I could not put down! I loved this book and cannot wait to read After The Storm.
Sep 14, 2008 Mom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow - things aren't always what they seem....
Aug 15, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I really enjoyed this book. This was the best read so far this summer.
Aug 22, 2008 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good story, suspense and complex characters. I can not wait for thesequel.
Feb 04, 2017 Patti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I had a tough time with the rating for this book. While I thought the story itself was entertaining, it was a bit hard to fully connect with all of the characters. And towards the end, there were just so many secrets and it started resembling a soap opera. The book goes back forth from present day to Laurel's history and her marriage to Jamie in the early 90's. After the birth of Maggie, Laurel experiences horrible postpartum depression. She feels no connection to her daughter, Maggie, and all s ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Lin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a couple of attempts to get into this, partly because it sounded similar to a Jodi Picault book and partly because it's written in different voices and at first I found Andy's voice hard to listen to. But I'm glad I persevered, even though the first line of the synopsis of the sequel to this (secrets she left behind) contains a spoiler. This wasn't as many layered as some of this author's books, bu the characters (yes, even Andy in the end) were engaging and interesting, and the plot ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book from Diane Chamberlain. This was very "her". All her books involve the same kind of scandals but I don't tire of them - she is an excellent writer and I enjoy her immensely.

"Before the Storm" is focused on a 15 year old boy with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome which causes his mind to work in different ways to your average Joe. An interesting and unique subject matter. This poor boy is accused of arson which resulted in three dead. All evidence is pointing at him but the argument is
Jan 31, 2013 Chloe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is another one of what I call "Chocolate cake books". It's so delicious, I am torn between wanting to devour it all in one bite ... and nibbling small mouthfuls, catching each crumb, to draw out the treat.

Like a lot of Diane Chamberlain's books, this one is told in multiple points of view, and jumps back and forth in time. Unlike others, this type of writing doesn't worry me and this story is easy to follow while it weaves webs of questions and lies. How well do we really know those we love
Aug 22, 2011 Den rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my WOW books.
Laurel drank whilst she was pregnant with her second child, Andy, after suffering from severe post-natal depression, after the birth of her first, and he is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,which makes different to to others - he takes things literally and says exactly what he thinks. The gist of the story is that 15 year old Andy is suspected of starting a fire which ends up killing some people. Mum believes he hasn't got the ability to think this plan through but ev
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 11, 2015 11:35AM  
  • The Good Sister
  • The Kindest Thing
  • A Theory of Relativity
  • Goodnight, Beautiful
  • Best Kept Secret
  • The Slow Moon
  • Life Without Summer
  • The Kindness of Strangers
  • Hidden Wives
  • The Secret Between Us
  • Magic Hour
  • Saving Max
  • Girls in Trouble
  • Prayers and Lies
  • After You
  • A Sister's Gift
  • Follow the Stars Home
  • One Breath Away
Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 24 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and ...more
More about Diane Chamberlain...

Other Books in the Series

Before The Storm (2 books)
  • Secrets She Left Behind (Before the Storm #2)

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