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Before the Storm

(Before The Storm #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  11,902 ratings  ·  728 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Andy Lockwood is special.

Others notice the way he blurts out anything that comes into his mind, how he cannot foresee consequences, that he's more child than teenager. But his mother sees a boy with a heart as open and wide as the ocean.

Laurel Lockwood lost her son once through neglect. She's spent the rest of her life determined to make up for her

Paperback, 471 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Mira (first published June 2007)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,902 ratings  ·  728 reviews

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Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Andy is different from other children. You may not notice it from first glance, but Andy suffers from FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). His mother, Laurel, has maintained fifteen years of sobriety from alcoholism, a huge accomplishment, but nothing will never change the devastating consequences her drinking wrought. Maggie, Andy's sister, loves him more than life itself and along with her mother, has devoted her life to making sure Andy is safe; but at the same time, she also wants Andy to feel ...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Kelly Moran
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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!

Minty McBunny
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, march-2013
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
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Since I couldn't put this book down, I felt it deserved a 5 from me. It's funny though, because I didn't think I would like this story based on the blurb so I put it off for years even though this is one of my favorite authors. I loved how in this book and others of hers she reveals secrets in the lives of the characters in such a way throughout the book that keeps you pulled into story. She also tackles tough situations in a way that doesn't excuse what the characters do but oftentimes makes ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
An engrossing family saga. Hard to put down. Lots of twists and turns.

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 26 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind.

Andy is 15 years old and suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. His understanding of things is very straightforward; he takes things literally. His mother
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 added it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-lit, 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 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story was full of topics that are of interest to me, mainly because of my job. I felt his had a good contrast of tragedy, warmth and intrigue and the characters were portrayed really well. I liked that each person told their own story and it flowed really well. I'll be getting straight on to part 2!
Aug 24, 2015 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
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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.
May 24, 2015 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.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: series
This was filled with more twists and turns than a soap opera script writer could think of in a year. I didn't find the characters very likeable. Not one of my favorites of Diane Chamberlain.
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Wow - things aren't always what they seem....
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Very good story, suspense and complex characters. I can not wait for thesequel.
Aug 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I really enjoyed this book. This was the best read so far this summer.
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I found this captivating while reading it, but looking back after just a few hours, I found myself liking it less and less. Mainly due to the way the ending was wrapped up so quickly.

I find any books with a character that suffers from postpartum hard to read because I suffered quite a bit after my son was born. Reading about it always throws me back into that experience, and it's not fun. In that respect, the book is well written because it felt real, and I understood what Laurel went through,
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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

Other books in the series

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