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The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  47,301 ratings  ·  4,002 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 also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise t ...more
Paperback, US / CAN Edition, 522 pages
Published 2006 by Mira Books
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Joan Yes. She was a good friend, so she believed Eve that it was important. Also, she could hear how upset Eve was when she called.

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  47,301 ratings  ·  4,002 reviews

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Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
A solid gripping story, heartfelt and beautifully written and good physcholical thriller that kept me turning the pages

This is also know as The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.

Every now and then I enjoy a Diane chamberlain novel and this one really did hold my interest. There are quite a few novels on the market in the last couple of years where with the premise of missing childre and while this seems to be a popular topic for authors not all of them are well done, but I think the Lost Daughter by
Julie (jjmachshev)
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mothers
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
Jun 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gripped gripped gripped. could not put it down. Think this is my favourite Diane Chamberlain so far
Mariah Roze
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my July Pick-For-Me book for Goodreads’ Bibliophile Beauties Group ( I get really nervous when someone picks a book for me because on my to-read list I have a lot of popular reads and they always select one that is extremely popular, just like this book. Most of the time I end up being disappointed because the hype doesn’t actually match the quality of the book. BUT this book’s hype did!

This was an extremely good book! 4.5 stars!! I rounded up
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 500
What a twisted web of lies that was spun... slowly loosing control, and finally letting it catch up to you...

CeeCee Wilkes met a handsome man while waitressing at a diner. Tim Gleason was 12 years older than her and quickly had CeeCee wrapped around his finger. She was sixteen, and made a decision that would haunt the rest of her life. A scheme to kidnap the Governor's wife goes horribly wrong and CeeCee makes a decision that will impact everyone's future. Twenty years pass, and just when she th
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
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“You got dealt some crappy cards. But you're the one who has to decide how to play them.”

WOW! What a page-turner this was. This book completely caught me off guard. Very emotional. Well developed plot. Complex characters. And some really thought provoking moments about motherhood and life choices. Loved it!
Sherri Thacker
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my 5th book by Diane Chamberlain and once again, I love another one of her books. She drew me in from the very first page to the very last page and I could not put it down! 5 stars!!
♥ Marlene♥
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! Talk about an emotional read. It was fantastic. OK, you have to suspend the disbelief a bit but, it's fiction.

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.

I have never read anything by this author but I will definitely be checking out more of her books.It was a real page-turner and towards the end my emotions were all over the place.
She felt h
3.5 stars for me. This was a pretty good "what if" book. A young girl who has not had a proper bringing up, is duped into doing something for love that changes many lives. It's hard to pick a side of right or wrong in this one and it's hard not to say too much without revealing the plot. Good writing and good narrative. ...more
Carmel Hanes
Nov 03, 2020 rated it liked it
For an audible listen, this passed the time pleasantly enough, without being too taxing. The story line was interesting, and raised some questions about the complicated web of lies that can change our entire lives. Once that first line is drawn, the others must follow in order to keep the illusions going. But at what cost? To ourselves and those around us...

I was able to stay interested enough to continue listening, but I was having some difficulty swallowing some of the basic realities of the s
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned

I reluctantly abandoned this book at about 60% as it’d become a chore rather than a pleasure to read. It felt very long – like I’d been reading it for months and, apart from events at the beginning of the book which had been pretty much flagged up in the blurb, nothing much seemed to happen. I guess it’s a story about relationships but, aside from the letters from the mother to her child(which I enjoyed) I found the relationships pretty dull. And the bits about SCAPE seemed far-fetched. It just
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WHEW! 500 pages of non-stop reading enjoyment with lots of suspense to boot! The letters of love and advice from CeeCee's mom throughout the book really added to my reading experience.

I look forward to reading more books by Diane Chamberlain, The Midwife's Confession next.

Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Generously rounding up to 3 Stars

Unpopular opinion.....
I struggled though this one. All the primary characters I disliked, making one bad decision after the next. I couldn’t find sympathy...ugh.
BUT...this will not deter me from Chamberlain’s books. I have loved all the others.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
First, the title is completely wrong; it is not the secret life of CeeCee, it is the secret life of Eve. Second, everything in the novel is contrived, overdone, melodramatic, and soap operatic. For example, CeeCee is so gullible as to agree to the whole kidnapping shenangins (despite being supposedly so intelligent) without once looking up Andie's case in microfiche at the local library. Then, Tim and Marty are surprised the Genevieve is pregnant (despite having stalked her to plan for the kidna ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the start to the story and then, briefly, I faltered and wasn’t sure if I would continue to read the story as I could see where the early plot was going - it wasn’t something I was comfortable with. After a thinking break, I continued reading and found that was just one small part of the story; although it was the part of the story that changed lives.

From then onwards I was swept along on the journey CeeCee/Eve undertook and a truly amazing journey it was; so much so that I felt some r
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Suzy (Taking a break from reviews)
This was my first Diane Chamberlain novel and definitely not my last! Why have I not read any of her books until now?! I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a page turner for sure. Hope the rest of her books are just as good.
Ashley Daviau
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one hell of a rollercoaster ride of a book and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! At times I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading because it was such an out of this world, unexpected twist. I thought it was expertly written and in a way that actually made you sympathize and agree with certain characters crazy views. I also really enjoyed the ending, it all worked out in such a satisfying way!
Trish at Between My Lines

This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]

Two facts about The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Fact 1 : It is known as The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes in the US (no idea why it's different over here, I prefer the US title).

Fact 2 : It is an emotional timebomb.  The counter starts ticking on page one and it's just a matter of time until you explode with some very messy conflicting feels.

First Line of The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain:

"She couldn't concentrate on making
"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
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 book
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
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
Sandra Hoover
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
While I wasn't sure about this book early on, it turned out to be a winner! I was swept up in this girl's life as she manipulated situations that were not of her own making. Emotional, heartbreaking, and repeated illustrations of how far a mother will go to protect her child. I really enjoyed the author's writing style and am on a mission to read Chamberlain's catalogue of books. Highly Recommended! ...more
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Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed ...more

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