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The Secret Life of Ceecee Wilkes

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  23,287 ratings  ·  2,464 reviews
In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she knows what happened to her missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the bab...more
Paperback, 504 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Mira Books (first published February 1st 2006)
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Julie (jjmachshev)
What makes a mother? Genes? Childbirth? Love? And once a mother bonds with her child, is there anything that can break that bond? Diane Chamberlain’s novel “The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes” gives us the story of a teenage mother and her child. But there’s a lot more to it than just that and one small review can’t possibly describe the incredible and fascinating twists and turns the story takes.

CeeCee’s mother died when she was just twelve. But she left her daughter a legacy of letters. Each let...more
Jul 21, 2008 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Kelly by: People magazine
Wow, I could not put this book down! This book would make a great movie. I can't wait to read others by Diane Chamberlain!
Why? Why do I do it to myself? Why do I, once a book finds its way onto my bookshelf, feel a personal responsibility to usher it safely, chapter-by-chapter, to Read-dom and its ultimate resting place (be that the 'favourites' bookshelf or the charity shop)?

The cover even warned me: "For fans of Jodi Picoult this is a must read". I've had my fill and then some of JP and her creative writing class assignments.

But somehow I'm still labouring under the misapprehension that, if only I could just get...more
Set in the state of North Carolina, The Lost Daughter tells the story of a vulnerable and naive sixteen-year-old orphan, CeeCee Wilkes, whose mother passed away when she was just twelve-years-old. CeeCee never knew who her father was, and after spending the past four years of her life in various foster homes, CeeCee finds herself working as a waitress in order to save money to eventually go to college. Due to her mother's death and her years in foster care, CeeCee is starving for love and affect...more
Overall, a really great book. Despite the gumption she often showed as a teenager, with all of her big plans, I really believed that CeeCee was still naieve enough to succumb to Tim's charms.

My one criticism is in the character development of Cory during the last quarter of the novel. CeeCee/Eve was incredibly fleshed-out as a character, but I found Cory a bit lacking. First, the transition of her from a girl too scared to stay in college at Chapel Hill alone to one that cuts off her family com...more
I loved this book. It was so hard to put down. If I had not needed sleep, I would have read it in one sitting.
♥ Marlene♥
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Am I ever so glad I picked up this book, in Kroger and started reading it. I didn't buy it. But I did track it down at the library and check it out. :)

One thing I learned or was reinforced from this book was how family is not just nature. Mothers and fathers are people that raise you, and make you who you grow up to be, the good and the bad. Genetics are a smaller part of who we grow up to be, and possibly more superficial - hair & eye color and such.

I actually got chills while reading this...more
"Twenty-eight years ago a North Carolina governor's young, pregnant wife was kidnapped. Now her remains have been found and a man charged with her murder. Only one person -- CeeCee Wilkes -- can refute the charges against him. But CeeCee disappeared years ago . . ." (from summary on

I thought the young naive CeeCee was a believable character. I felt her pain of losing her mother at such a young age. I loved the letters her Mother left her to tell her what to expect from life - givi...more
I have been a fan of Diane Chamberlain's writing since I read the first book when I was living in Alexandria, Virginia. At that time, she had a private psychotherapy practice in Alexandria, and I am always interested in local authors. Chamberlain's books usually involve phobias, problems in personal relationships or some psychological issue, no doubt because of her background in psychotherapy.

This is a heart wrenching story of the consequences of youthful bad choices. The only issue I can take w...more
The worst sort of crossover novel--the only reason I am glad I read it as an ebook is that some trees were spared. It is to literature what Cheez Whiz in a can is to a triple cream brie. This is not a book for reading; this is a book for avoiding.

That's right, I didn't like it.

What is it that makes this book so painful to read? Is it the utter unbelievability of the plot? The flatness of the characters? The awkward and embarrassing writing and the gratuitous and entirely off-putting "romance?" C...more
This was my introduction to Diane Chamberlain. I'll be reading more of her books because this one tugged at my heart a little.

The story is about a young mother, Eve Elliot and her daughter Corinne. Eve has been living a life of lies and her daughter is heavily tangled within them. Corinne loves her mother and has lived a mostly normal life until the day she learns the truth. Throughout the book, Eve is forced to relive her past and make the decision whether or not to open up about what actually...more
I loved this book! It's the first book that I've read in a long time that I couldn't put down.
The depth of all of the main characters and the effects of the decisions that they made were the things that made this book so good for me. It reinforces the idea that people are generally good, but are sometimes forced into horrible situations where bad decisions are made.
This book is much more made-for-tv-movie than my usual reading choices, but I had no trouble getting caught up in CeeCee's story. It's fast paced and engaging, even if I don't want to believe any woman (even 16 year-olds) would be gullible enough to fall for the lines that ensnared CeeCee.
I loved this book. It was the kind you don't want to put down and when you have to put it down all you can think about is the next time you'll be able to pick it back up!! Loved it!
The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes is a book that will haunt you in every possible way , at least that what it did to me.
Obviously its a book about motherhood , even though when i started reading it i thought about it more like a mystery and a thriller but toward the middle it felt that it was really about a life, and more about the real life CeeCee/Eve had than the secret one she had run from.
the beginning of the book was really great , we saw how CeeCee's love and
obsession with Tim had grown we...more
I got this book from the library, an actual physical book. Imagine that, I have not read an actual book in a really long time, preferring ebooks. I read about this one and it did not disappoint me in the least. It was worth the drive to the library to go get it. I picked it up on 9-12 and just finished it at 1:10 am on 9-14. Young Cee Cee was so naive and just 16 when she got involved with a man who was 22 years old. She ended up with another woman's tiny baby and raised it as her own, living wi...more
3.5 stars. This is my first book by Diane Chamberlain and I was pleasantly surprised. It tells the story of a young girl who needs to change her identity, and ends up with a kidnapped daughter, because of some bad decisions made. The story is intriguing with lots of twists and turns. I especially liked the fact that it was told from the viewpoint of the "mother" and the kidnapped daughter. The characters were very well-developed, especially the main character. I will be reading more by this auth...more
Hands down one of(if not the) best book I have ever read. A true page turner from start to finish, I never wanted it to end and when it did all I wanted to do was read more. Finally found an author who is as good as Jodi Piccoult. Can't wait to read another one.
Aug 19, 2008 Liz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Julie!
Recommended to Liz by: Holly - Target Book Clubs
Shelves: finished
Anyone who got sucked into Jodi Piccoult with My Sister's Keeper and then became disappointed with one or more later of her books will find this book a welcome reprieve. The author uses similar moral choice twisters but in a fresh way. Great summer read!
One of the best books I have ever read!
I'm really not sure how to rate this. On the one hand, I was taken in with the suspense running concurrent with the plot, and I finished the book in two days. On the other hand I thought the entire premise of the plot was just too far fetched to even imagine ever working. By that I mean the absurd scheme that Tim and his brother were planning, and that the intelligent, mature-at-16 CeeCee had very few second thoughts about going along with. I couldn't get over the ridiculousness of it all, but I...more
I could definitely see Jodi Picoult writing a book with the same premise — a mother’s love, a child’s life marked by a crime, and the moral dilemmas that accompany that crime — but Chamberlain is no Picoult and it shows. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes is too nice, too perfect, too neatly wrapped up and packaged in the end.

Overall, the story focuses on the most boring aspect of the whole plot – how CeeCee was conned into the crime and her life with the stolen child — and ignored the most intere...more
The story starts out with a sort of normal set-up, but after not too long the real story begins to surface and then the fun begins. CeeCee Wilkes is a young 16-year-old who lost her mother when she was 12. She's gone through all the foster homes, she's gotten somewhere, she loves her job as a waitress and that cute guy keeps coming in and talking to her every day. And then the darkness takes over.

The plot moves into a story I have a hard time believing. Or, more accurately, I can hardly believe...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
Beautiful story about moms and daughters and the choices that take us down hard paths in life. I loved this novel and just have to read it again!

What happened here was so different yet there were common threads of love weaved throughout that everyone can relate to if they think about it. I understood what the mom's felt and what the daughter's felt. Was shocked by some of the choices but not surprised. Should I have been in either of these places at that time in my life it could have been just...more
This was a page-turner to be sure! Quick, intense and had me interested the entire time. I really enjoyed reading this one and flew through was one I could have done all in one sitting if given the time! What held me back from 5 stars, was my reaction to the decisions made by the characters. It wasn't that I felt this couldn't happen...just watch the TV news....but that I'm so polar opposite in my personal thinking than most of these characters. When the major events happened I remember...more
Tammie McElligott
May 10, 2008 Tammie McElligott rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Jodi Picoult and women's fiction
Not having ever read one of Diane Chamberlain's books I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Except for a little frustration at the main characters bad decisions early on, Diane did a great job at making you feel the main character really had no choice.

From the middle of the book on, I had a hard time putting it down and really enjoyed the pace.

If you want to read more about my review of this book, you can click over to my blog about women's fiction at Di...more
CeeCee is only 16-years old when she starts dating Tim. Tim soon gets her into trouble when his plan to kidnap the governor's wife to force him to release his sister from death row goes horribly wrong.

Wow, this drew me in right away! I really enjoyed it. It was fast-paced. The beginning of the book and the end were easily the best parts, as I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen. Even the middle part of the book kept me wanting to read, even though I wasn't on the...more
Linda Owen
I've just started the book, but I can usually tell in the first couple of chapters if it's going to snag my attention or not. This book has so far. I'll add more later.

What a great story! This is the first book I have read by this author and I will be looking for more. I generally enjoy suspense riddled books, but this is a very entertaining story about a 16 year old girl who falls in love with the wrong guy and how this affects this rest of her life. It's been a while since I have enjoyed a boo...more
Diane Chamberlain is good at the intricacies of human relationships. CeeCee is sixteen when she falls in love with a charmer who asks her to help him in a plot to kidnap the governor's wife. The goal is for the kidnappers to convince the governor to commute the sentence of Tim's sister.When the kidnapped woman gives birth to a premature infant and starts to hemmorrhage, CeeCee is alone with her. The quick decision she makes changes the course of her life and the child's. A good read....
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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
More about Diane Chamberlain...
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“She felt happy these days, yet there was always an undercurrent of sadness just below the surface” 31 likes
“You got dealt some crappy cards. But you're the one who has to decide how to play them.” 14 likes
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