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The Courage Tree
 
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Diane Chamberlain
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The Courage Tree

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,779 ratings  ·  266 reviews
It is Every Mother's Nightmare...Only Worse

Eight-year-old Sophie Donohue just wanted to be like every other little girl. Which is why her mother, Janine, reluctantly agreed to let her go on the weekend camping trip with her Brownie troop. But when Janine arrives to pick up Sophie after the trip, her daughter is not with the others. Somehow, along the forested route from We...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Mira Books (first published February 1st 2001)
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TamElaine
Wow, another fantastic novel by Diane Chamberlain - this book was particularly masterful at creating suspense, hope and belief around every corner. I felt such hatred toward Janine's mother throughout most of the book, and almost as much for her father...I was up and down about how I felt about Joe, Janine's ex-husband, but mostly I understood him, even when I was upset by his actions or words, I understood where he was coming from....I was able to feel his pain and his love and his anger....and...more
Ellen Tristram
The Courage Tree is the story of two mothers, each trying in their own ways to protect their daughters, and realising that the protection they're trying to give maybe not what is needed. Diane Chamberlain intertwines two main stories, with lots of sub-plots that are all neatly tied together at the end.

It was okay.

Don't get me wrong - this isn't a BAD book. It's relatively well constructed, and the characters are likeable and (mostly) believable. There's a certain amount of suspense, particularly...more
Megan
Meh. The book seemed way too long to me. I constantly felt like, how can we be to page 200 and only *this* has happened? So drawn out. I didn't feel that the characters were very well-developed in general, especially Lucas.

In short, an awful lot of book and not an awful lot of anything happening. I'd skip it.
Darby
I have been on a Diane Chamberlain kick. This one out of all the books I have read of hers was my least favorite but it still was a good story. Janine is the mother who courageously admits her child into the clinical trial of a new medicine against the advice of her ex-husband, Joe and her cynical parents. Because Sophie is doing so well on the clinical trail Janine her mother allows Sophie to go to a summer camp. On the way home there is a car accident and Sophie gets lost in the woods. This bo...more
Cardmaker
This is the first book of Diane Chamberlain's that I've had to say I did not like, hence, the two star rating. I did finish reading it but I was doing major skimming near the end. I'd lost all interest in the story because I knew from early on how it was going to end. Okay, there was one twist that I didn't guess but it was just plain stupid as far as I was concerned. I figured out Lucas' secret long before the author spilled the beans. Not only that, but the main character, Janine (the mother o...more
Lauralee
This novel is deserving of far more than the five stars I gave in this review. What a fantastic and gripping novel! Diane Chamberlain, again came through with a real gem in The Courage Tree.

The author always has a way of making me either love, or hate the characters, but I always feel a connection, feel as if I know them. Long after the novel is finished, I find myself thinking of the characters and this novel is no different.

The Courage Tree, is one that is full of suspense, drama, twists and...more
Giedre
oh god I love Diane Chamberlain but this book was just too freakin boring! main character is an annoying whimp and the mystery of the missing child is overburden with unnecessary crap like annoying parents and ex husband. putting this book down after making myself read about 65% of it.
Carissa Lusk
I've heard such great things about this author and that she is compared to Jodi Picoult (whose books are a guilty pleasure of mine). Add to the equation that I am a WVa native and love to read books from my home state. So with all these expectations laying on this book's paperback cover, I was excited to crack open this title!

But it fell flat.

My main beef is with Janine. Oh, how the book mentions so many times that she was a teenage rebel. Then she serves in the Persian Gulf war. How did that s...more
Julia
I was already a fan of Diane Chamberlain when I began this book, little did I know that this would become my new favourite by this author!

I found this book to be fantastic, I finished it in less than 24 hours because I just couldnt put it down! I was constantly intrigued and on edge, wanting to know what was happening next and the answers to lots of questions which came up. I really liked the twists and turns which revealed themselves when I least expected it.

The beginning of the book starts wit...more
Smitha
Janine has just sent her eight year old daughter, Sophie on a Brownie Camping Trip. A big enough event for most parents, but it has even bigger implications for Janine as Sophie, has never been on a trip like this before. Sophie is a very ill child, with a Kidney disease that has no known cure. She has been severely ill and used to need dialysis on a daily basis until Janine put her on an experimental treatment that met with severe opposition from both Janine’s parents and her ex-husband, Joe. T...more
Ellie Harper
An absolutely wonderful novel with a storyline that had many twists and turns and left me on tenterhooks the entire way through. I also didn't have a clue about what Lucas's secret was, which is odd because I'm normally really good at guessing.

The ex-husband Joe was just awful. He was controlling, emotionally abusive, he blamed the mother, Janine, for everything, from delivering a stillborn baby, to giving their daughter a kidney disease.

Janine's parents were just as controlling, cold, manipul...more
Chrissi
I absolutely loved this book. I've read several of Diane Chamberlain's books and this one is one of my favourites. Gripping story with some characters you really feel for. I wasn't expecting the ending at all. I loved that it wasn't what I predicted. Can't wait to read more of Diane's books!
Summer
I'm really liking how Diane Chamberlain writes. She sucks you in from the begining and keeps you that way until the end. I really enjoyed this book and their were things that you didn't expect.
Hayley Baldwin
A quick glance through the various reviews of this book would probably have made me think twice about bothering to read it, so I'm glad I didn't look it up before I downloaded it- I had read (and re-read) one of Chamberlain's other books, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, saw her name and bought the book. It was a good decision and I'd recommend you do the same.

It isn't the most well-written book I've read, in that the characters aren't highly developed, but I think this lends itself to the sto...more
Denise
Aug 25, 2008 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jodi Picoult fans
Recommended to Denise by: Readers at Diane's blog: www.dianechamberlain.com
Diane's books are always full of complex interesting characters, good plots, family relationships and drama, suspense and many secrets to be revealed in the end.
Julie Kendrick
I love Diane Chamberlain's books and this one starts off just as great as the others. The first 2/3 of the book are gripping and kept me enthralled. However the last 1/3 was really disappointing. It was as if Ms Chamberlain couldn't really think of a way to tie up all the loose ends and so we had to start suspending disbelief somewhat. I won't spoil it but certain things were conveniently to hand and skills just so happened to be possessed.

The end though was very disappointing because it builds...more
Sara
I really enjoy Diane Chamberlain's books. They are engrossing, interesting, and quick reads. That being said, this was not my favorite of her books that I've read thus far. Without giving too much away, there were parts of this book that were just beyond unrealistic. The entire movie star/escaped convict daughter was just ridiculous not to mention everything having to do with one of the main characters. Putting all that aside, the book was enjoyable, just not my favorite as it strayed slightly t...more
Bev
First DC book I ever read........hooked! Brilliant writer
Laura Pizzie
Wow! Probably the best book I have ever read!!!
Beadyjan
Can't fault this author, even though this isn't the very best example of her writing it's still an exciting and gripping read with loads to keep your interest going, twists and turns and human emotions at their most raw.

A little girl with a serious illness is receiving a revolutionary new treatment which seems to be helping her so much her mother allows her to go off on a camping weekend with her friends, but when she goes to collect her, all the other kids pile off the bus but 8 year old Sophie...more
Elaine
The Courage Tree grips the reader from the start. It's difficult to stop reading.

Janine and Joe are divorced and have usually agreed on the course of treatment for their sick 8-yr. old Sophie. This time, however, Janine has Sophie undergoing a targeted herbal treatment. Sophie has been doing remarkably well where nothing in the past has worked for her. Both Joe and Janine's parents are vehemently against this treatment, believing that only conventional doctors know what they're doing and that co...more
Cheryl M-M
This is a mother-centric plot. Two families with mothers at the helm of two stories that eventually connect.
The first is about two parents colliding when it comes to the medical care of their sick child.
I just want to have a wee grumble at Janine's parents. I mean come on now, her own parents act as if her ex-hubby is their son and they treat their own daughter like a 15 yr old with the mental capacity of a gnat.
No insult intended towards gnats.
I would have liked to have seen Janine assert herse...more
Megan Readinginthesunshine
I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain and her books, and so I was very excited about starting The Courage Tree.

Janine’s daughter Sophie, like any child, wants a life full of fun and adventure, and so Janine lets her daughter go on her first camping trip away from home. But when Sophie doesn’t return, Janine is thrown into a battle against time, as her Sophie isn’t like the other children, she is suffering from a rare kidney disease, and every day her daughter is missing is one day closer to her d...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
Diane Chamberlain never ceases to amaze me with her beautiful novels. The characters are so real I always feel like I'm a part of the stories!

There is such a connection between mother and daughter that touched me in the deepest part of my soul. I was rooting for both mothers and yet it seemed impossible that both would get what they needed. Whew...I was surprised at every turn of this novel and could not put it down...totally devoured it.

It's hard to take care of a sick child...whether they're...more
Korey
A swing and miss for Chamberlain, an author I typically love. This book lacked the things I typically look for in her work. She usually excels at character development but these characters well flat, dull and mostly obnoxious in an implausible way. Character motivation remained painfully underdeveloped. I just can't take a book seriously where a major character: (character, not plot spoiler ahead) (view spoiler)...more
Leah Jackels
“The Courage Tree”, by Dianne Chamberlain, is a suspenseful nonfiction book about a young girl who is lost in the woods and must be found before time runs out.
Sophie, a 7-year-old girl with a severe kidney disease, was on her way home from a Girl Scout camp in Virginia when her group was in a tragic car accident. Sophie was able to make it out alive but got lost in the woods, until she found a mysterious cabin where post-super star Zoe had been hiding. Zoe, who planned on hiding in the woods f...more
Elaine
This is a story that I got totally lost in. Full of tension and drama it is a story that is every parent’s worst nightmare; Janine’s eight year old daughter Sophie has disappeared on the way home from camp and to make matters even more terrifying for her family, Sophie has end stage kidney disease and needs treatment fast.

The story is one of a family coping in these circumstances – the blame, the guilt, the pressure but most of all, the lengths a mother will go to in order to save and protect he...more
Brittan Morris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
A good book. Slow to start but gets gripping after about 100 pages. I enjoyed the book but the pace at the start was slow. I found it hard to believe that for a woman that defied her parents in terms of joining the army and than the treatment she sought for her daughter that she would have taken so much shit from her parents overall. A good book and a good read but disappointed at its slow start. I had heard so many good things about Diane chamberlain that maybe I expected more from the start.


A...more
Hannah
The characters felt a bit over-simplified/one-dimensional. There were many parts of the plot that didn't seem very plausible. Not much happened in the first third of the book. Based on what happens at the end, I don't think Sophie winds up with a very healthy idea of family. I did think the concept of the Courage Tree was sweet, once we finally learned what it was.
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I'm the author of 23 novels published in more than twenty languages. I like to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of my books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, my stories usually feature a combination of suspense, mystery and intrigue.

I live in North Car...more
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