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Secrets She Left Behind (Before The Storm #2)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  5,617 ratings  ·  451 reviews
One afternoon, single mother Sara Weston says that she's going to the store—and never returns. In her absence, she leaves her teenage son alone with his damaged past and a legacy of secrets.

Keith Weston nearly lost his life in an act of arson. He survived—but with devastating physical and emotional scars. Without his mother, he has no one to help
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA (first published 2009)
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I don't agree with any of the reviews I've read. Don't get me wrong - I love Diane Chamberlain's books, but this one didn't do it for me. It was way too long and while it gives a back story to some of the events of "Before the Storm", honestly, who cares? We knew of all of this from the first book. Two thirds into the book, I was so tired of all the whiny characters. Most of the book is boring filler and didn't move me at all. I also feel that Jen should also have been given a voice so that I co ...more
May 10, 2009 Denise rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Diane Chamberlain fans or anyone who enjoys good contemporary fiction
As a bookseller, I was fortunate to get an advanced copy of this novel, the sequel to BEFORE THE STORM. With the exception of a few books (such as Marisa de los Santos' BELONG TO ME), I am usually a bit disappointed with sequels. SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND is one of the few exceptions...I loved it!

SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND is full of new twists and secrets. I am afraid to write too much about the story for fear of giving something away. But I do highly recommend it to Diane Chamberlain fans. If you
4.5 stars

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Us humans are such complex characters and I think Secrets She Left Behind really shows that.

This is the sequel to Before the Storm and although it mostly tells the same story this book looks into each characters thoughts and behaviours much more than Before The Storm does.

I really enjoyed reading it and learning more about each characters and why they felt and did what they did.
I found Maggie to be quite a righteous person who was very self centred. A
Maggie is finally leaving prison. She had been behind bars for the last one year. Convicted for setting a fire that killed many children, and one that almost took her own brother’s life, she is in living hell. Her release from prison, sadly hasn’t released her from the prison of guilt.

Keith Wes has had his life turned upside down in the last year. He almost lost his life, by an act of arson. He has been terribly disfigured, and now the person responsible for it all is coming back from prison. He
This is a wonderful followup to the characters and stories introduced in BEFORE THE STORM. It left me a bit puzzled on some of the plotlines, though, considering that we are in the times of cell phones and the Internet. With that being said, this is a wonderful story of hope and redemption. The author grabs you from page one and doesn't let go until the final word! I loved these characters so much that I am hoping for a third book about the Lockwoods! The author creates such a realistic portraya ...more
Diane Will
I always enjoy Diane Chamberlain and this didn't disappoint. This is the follow on from 'Before the Storm' which I loved. I always seem to read her books reasonably quickly. She writes such gripping storylines and great characters. It could probably be read on its own, but I think reading the first would help, understanding the plot and how the characters link.

There are lots of truths and family relationships brought unexpectedly to the fore....I like when these kind of things pop up, and you go
Nothing is more annoying than when you are reading a book and you begin to suspect it is a sequel. You can always tell when the past histories of the side character's are a bit too complicated and keep getting thrown in as an aside. "Julie's cousin, whose husband had been murdered the previous year when she found out her three children were actually aliens, came over for super".

I don't know why they don't just write on the cover that it is a sequel. As soon as you find out, it ruins the current
I didn't enjoy this sequel as much as the first book. It was very repetitive. Once again I enjoyed Andy's chapters the best in this one too, but none of the others I'm afraid. I found many times that it was unbelievable. There were some events and conversations that were very unrealistic, especially those featuring Keith and his conversations, actions and response to the disappearance of Sara. Overall, I felt that the sequel was unnecessary and I really didn't see the point of it, the first book ...more
I read this book immediately after reading "Before the Storm" and it didn't disappoint. "Before the Storm" was one of those books that draws you in so deeply that you actually grieve at the loss of the characters when you close the book for the last time. I was thrilled, of course, to pick up the this book and have the opportunity to join up again and travel down the rocky, worn, rugged, tried and tested path that is the Lockwood Family.

I was initially apprehensive that the background given to
Jenny Mandeville
Great sequel to Before the Storm. I only wish this was a longer series.
A good sequel that has plenty to offer and doesn't just go over the old ground of the first book. Although many people have stated that this is a stand alone book, I think to really appreciate the evolution of the characters you need to read the first book Before the Storm
I don't want to spoil the plot of this or the first book - so I will try to generalise:

The main plot of this book is how the culprit who caused the tragic fire in the first book, deals with the fallout of what they have done
I have become an avid reader of Diane Chamberlain's books. After reading, "The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes," I was anxious to dive into another book and picked up a copy of, "Before the Storm" at the library. As a warning, this book is a sequel to "Before the Storm," and I would definitely skip reading the reviews if you haven't read the first novel yet.

We rejoin the Lockwood family in this sequel following Maggie's prison sentence for the arson that she committed to a community church. She re
Since I read another of Diane chamberlain's books earlier this year I am eager to read them all. I had read a couple of hers previously and while I also enjoyed them a lot my tbr piles had so many other books there and I hadn't read some of them until this year.
This one also did not disappoint. The author writes these novels with stories that are so emotional and thought provoking and reading them you become so involved with the characters. I read the last half of book in one sitting.
This stor
Secrets She Left Behind was a real page-turner. I've been wanting to read a Diane Chamberlain novel for quite some time and this book did not disappoint! I just learned it's a sequel, but this book stands on its own. Now it's time for me to find and read the first book, Before the Storm.

The story begins with Maggie being released from prison for acts that led up to a fire that killed three people and seriously injured several others. The characters were very well developed and it was interesting
Another good summer reading book; perhaps because it takes place near the ocean. "Secrets She Left Behind" captured my interest from the opening page. This novel is about several dysfunctional but loving families whose lives are painfully interwoven. The love each family has for their own children, inspite of the children's problems (one was in prison for a year, one was born wih fetal alcoholism, one was burned in a fire - all revealed early on in the story) there is more love in the families t ...more
Her writing is likened to Jodi Picoult and I can see why. This book follows the characters introduced in Before the Storm. I hadn't read Before the Storm before reading this one and don't think it mattered once I had worked out the characters. I'm not sure whether it will affect my reading of Before the Storm as I know who started the fire and why and the effects on other people etc.

This story is written from 4 main viewpoints- Maggie who is being let out of prison, Andy-her brother, Keith who s
Just as addicting as the first book. I enjoyed that this book focused more on Keith, Sara, & Maggie, with small snippets of Andy, Laurel, and Marcus. I felt like these two books were so well rounded because we got to see the perspective of just about every vital character.
I had a hard time finding sympathy for Keith because even though he'd been through hell, he was pretty unlikeable. That changed by the end, though. Great little series! Give it a go if you like contemporary with a little bi
Secrets She Left Behind is the sequel to Before the Storm.

After Keith Weston becomes a burn victim due to an act of arson, he must deal with his scars - both physical and emotional. To make matters worse, his mother has disappeared and no one has any idea where she may be.

Keith has no choice but to ask the Lockwood family for help. Laurel was his mother's best friend...and her husband Jamie was Keith's father. Unfortunately, Laurel's daughter - and Keith's half-sister - is the person who committ
Honestly, I wish I could give this book 10 stars. It was one that kept me wanting more and more, and I never wanted to put it down. Diane Chamberlain is an amazing author and I hope to read more of her books.
Secrets She Left Behind was a novel full of heart, family, and suspense. Each chapter from a different person's point of view, reminding me a lot of The Poisonwood Bible in that sense, gave the book character, and it kept you on your toes. Though it's a little confusing at first, before you
This was the first book I read by Chamberlain. I saw this book reviewed somewhere and the storyline sounded interesting. I didn't realize that there was a book prior to this that would have given some background to the plot, but it isn't necessary to read it. This book has a very realistic plot and got me thinking. As a parent I can't imagine my child suffering the way all the kids int his book do and then watching the pain they have to go through due to an action taken by them. But, the plot wa ...more
This book was very sad and had lots of interesting twists and turns. I felt bad for Keith not knowing what happened to his mom. As you piece together Sara story you feel bad for her as well. I feel bad for Sara because she was so sad and lonely and I felt that Jamie took advantage of that. I was never quite sure if I felt bad for Laurel or not; because she wasted so many years after Maggie was born to get help. I think that with the messed up adults that were in life that was why Maggie was the ...more
Kelly Keefe
I started out really liking this book alot and I could hardly put it down. However last night I got to the ending and it really kind of put a damper on the book for me. I felt like the ending wasn't very well developed at all. I had many questions about Sara's accident. Also the character of Jen should have been given more of a voice, perhaps some of the chapters should have been told from her perspective nas they were from the other characters in the book. I just felt she was flat. Overall it w ...more
I usually enjoy Dian Chamberlain’s books but I found this one disappointing. It was rather long and boring. I couldn’t empathise with any of the characters and the constant switching between different characters and timelines was very confusing.

Half of this book was just excerpts and re-explanations of her first book. That is a good thing if you haven't read "before the storm," but if you have, this book gets kind of repetitive. I also get super frustrated by her character Andy. She has him getting better at reacting to his emotions and whatnot, but at the same time he can't remember the simplest of things! The letter that goes into his bag in chapter one takes way too long to be found considering how often he is "dumping" out his bag
Although I love Diane Chamberlain books, this one did not seem quite as good and I felt as though it could have been shorter. But then, I also didn't know that this was book #2 with Before the Storm being the first book.

Maggie was always a good girl but falling in love made her do things you would never expect of her - like planning to set a fire so that her boyfriend, a fireman could prove that he had overcome his fears. Although she didn't actually light the fire, she had poured flammables al
This book is the sequel to 'Before the Storm' it can be read as a standalone book, but if you can then I suggest reading the other book first as this will contain spoilers as to how the first book ends

I am a HUGE Diane Chamberlain fan and this book was all that I expected and more!

I do believe that this book can be read as a standalone book (as mentioned above) as the story really is separate to the previous book, and cross over parts and clearly explained. Having read Before the Storm first I
Why in the world did it take me almost a month to get through this book? I hate giving poor reviews about books, but I literally had to push myself to finish this. Talk about predictability - and that's one of my pet peeves when it comes to a novel. I love when an author takes you in one direction - and you assume how the story will unfold - and then the story takes a tangent into the unknown I hate giving a synopsis about a book what I like to do is delve into why the author wrote the book secr ...more

Secrets She Left Behind is told in a present perspective from Andy Lockwood, Maggie Lockwood and Kieth Weston and in a past perspective from Sara Weston. Once again, Chamberlain's wrote two different timelines in an amazing way so that the end result would be one heartbreaking story. There were also four different POV's to read about, but each character had their own story, personalities and pain that were easy to dif
answers from reading group

the past has a huge impact on the future of the people but one pivotal event was Sara acting quickly to move away causing more heartache.

I would definitely find it hard to forgive Maggie.

Maggie's family is very forgiving but as a mother it would be very hard not to forgive your child when this was a catalogue of errors and not entirely her fault. I think Keith would find it extremely hard to forgive.

I think Maggie is a very empathic person and would enjoy nursing.

Told from several points of view this story drew me in from the very beginning. Chamberlain has a way with relationships and showing each person's perspective. The family issues are real and very relevant to today's world. The secret has a profound impact on more people than you would originally realize. The pacing is wonderful, the story engaging, and when I was done reading I was totally satisfied. I will be reading more of Chamberlain in the future!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 15, 2015 11:38AM  
  • Life Without Summer
  • Goodnight, Beautiful
  • Mothers and Other Liars
  • The Good Sister
  • After You
  • A Sister's Gift
  • What Happened to My Sister
  • The Kindest Thing
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Prayers and Lies
  • Between Friends
  • Girls in Trouble
  • The Memory of Water
  • Driftwood Summer
  • The Four Seasons (Paperback)
  • These Things Hidden
  • The Kindness of Strangers
  • Standing Still
Diane Chamberlain is the 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 sisters, and fr ...more
More about Diane Chamberlain...

Other Books in the Series

Before The Storm (2 books)
  • Before the Storm (Before the Storm, #1)
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes The Midwife's Confession Necessary Lies The Silent Sister The Good Father

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