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The Courage Tree

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  7,092 ratings  ·  543 reviews
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 West Virginia, Sophie has disappeared.

But Sop
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Mira (first published 2001)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,092 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
More like 3.5 stars.
This is the story of Janine, mother to 8 year old Sophie, who has been diagnosed with end stage renal disease. Sophie has been taking part in a treatment called Herbalina, and she has made real progress on the treatment. So much so that Janine has let her go to camp for a few days. But then Sophie vanishes, and Janine finds herself in the middle of a nightmare.
I thought this was an okay read, but I liked it less as the book went on. None of the characters (apart from Sophie)
Bodosika Bodosika
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting Words:She would have no music where she is going.
Ending Words:And she vowed to reach deep enough inside herself to find the courage that had been there all the time.

This is an interesting read,the characters are vivid and loveable, the plot and settings awesome.Though my first book by Diane Chamberlain it won't be the last.I give this book 4 stars.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will confess, I do love a Diane Chamberlain novel. She certainly knows how to tell a good story and gets to the very root of the human heart. In " The Courage Tree", Chamberlain introduces us to Janine, a young mother and her eight year old daughter, Sophie. Sophie is wise beyond her years but when a child has spent most years in hospitals battling kidney disease, that will happen. Janine wants desperately to be a good mother and provide normality in her little girl's life. So, when an overnig ...more
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I hated this book. I hated pretty much the whole thing, start to finish.

There are two plot threads; both too weak to stand on their own but they're both desperate enough to not belong together. The result is this bizarre ... "plot". The main plot is this sick girl named Sophie. The second plot is of this woman who springs her murderous child from jail because she believes she's innocent... And that all goes the way you'd think.

It was predictable and stupid.

The thing that made me hate this more
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, reviewed
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
Nors Lietuvoje išleista šiais metais, ši Diane Chamberlain knyga nėra naujausias jos kūrinys. Iš tiesų, "Drąsos medis" pasaulį išvygo 2001 metais ir padovanojo jam jautrią istoriją apie dvi mamas, dvi dukras ir dvi targedijas. Visiškai skirtingas ir kartu panašias. Abi jas jungė neapsakoma meilė vaikams ir viltis, jog viskas viestiek bus gerai. Diane Chamberlain man yra viena tų autorių, kurių knygas mėgstu skaityti atsipalaidavimui - kai nesinori nieko sunkaus, žiauraus ar labai rimto. Nors ji ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly a 4.5.....I typically enjoy most novels by this author. This one was no exception. It was a bit over the top, which is why I didn't go with a full 5 stars. It left me hoping, wondering....I was intrigued over a few things, such as the Gardner, Lukas. You think you have it possibly figured out, then...nope! Plot twist.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
When Janine’s 8-year old, Sophie, goes away to a camp with the other Brownies/Girl Scouts, it’s an adventure for her. Sophie is in end-stage renal failure, but has been feeling so much better on an alternative herbal mixture that is being tested. On the way home, she and another little girl are in a second vehicle with a younger leader. When their vehicle doesn’t return home, time is ticking on Sophie’s treatment. What happened? Janine and her ex-husband, Joe, are frantic to find Sophie!

This was
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly love a Diane Chamberlain book and this was no exception. I was really drawn into all the characters and found it hard to put the book down. I didn't particularly like Janine but I think that made the story more intense.
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eight-year old Sophie should not have to deal with an illness like kidney disease. Her mother, Janine, grasps at straws when an experimental treatment is presented. Over the protests of her ex-husband and her parents, Janine enrolls Sophie in the program at the suggestion of the mysterious gardener at her parents mansion. Because Sophie improves, her mother allows her to attend a weekend Girl Scout camp. This decision upsets her parents and Sophie's dad, Joe.

When Sophie doesn't return with the
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diane Chamberlain's writing has definitely improved since she first started writing novels. I've enjoyed the most recent ones very much. Earlier ones though, like this one, feel more like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. A bit too schmaltzy and syrupy for me. That's not to say they aren't readable, as the author is very good at writing opening scenes and chapters that grab my interest and pull me in right away. Hmm....yeah, okay, so maybe I do like a bit of schmaltz and syrup. Maybe just a bit. I ...more
Jeanne Adamek
The writing was good, I was never bored or frustrated. I liked the characters--even Joe, and Janines parents (I felt that they were very realistic drawn and although I didn't like their negative thinking and blaming, they were real)

The story I felt was a bit clichéd. I knew what was coming. There were for me no surprises. And because of this I felt that this story should only receive 3 stars.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my fourth Diane Chamberlain book that I've now read and again I was not disappointed. It was a truly wonderful insightful read and it really pulled at my heartstrings. Such beautiful writing and wonderful throughout characters. If it wasn't for work I would gave read this in a day for sure.
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just another one to prove I love this author! I was in a reading rut and this helped me get out. A fast paced suspense read is what I needed. This author mixes surprises along the way to keep you guessing . I would recommend this!
Dayna Hauschild
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Courage Tree by Diane Chamberlain was a book filled with suspense, deception, mystery, love and courage. Sophie, who suffers from a rare kidney disease, is allowed by her mother to go on a Girl Scout campout. However, she doesn't return (along with a sponsor and another child). Janine, Sophie's mother, and Joe, Sophie's father are divorced yet have remained united when it came to Sophie's care until Janine decided to try an experimental treatment with her. She improved and thus the plea to a ...more
An Aussie Book Nerd
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've yet to be disappointed by this author. I think her stories are just wonderful. Always so much emotion and fantastic character development. I felt like this one is a little unique with its story line as well. I also enjoyed the Zoe story line. I did initially wonder "what the..." with the prologue and then the first few chapters, however once I understood how it was tied in, it ended up being one of my favourite parts.

I didn't guess "The Tree House Man" story line, which I thought was great.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not my favorite book by Diane Chamberlain. It took me a while to get "into" it as the search for Sophie, missing in the wilderness, goes on for most of the book. I did get "into" the mystery surrounding Lucas, another main character. Some of the other characters, such as Janine's parents, felt like they constructed out of cardboard and unlike some of the others, they do not really develop. I did like the medical research that she obviously undertook to write this and there are some nice ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book hard to get in to. The story plods along at times and I found myself skipping pages of dialogue between characters that had no basis on the storyline. The plot twists are ridiculously far fetched!! The twist regarding Lucas at the end actually made me laugh with the soap opera style absurdity of it!
Overall it's a readable book and parts of the story will keep you interested..but definitely not a favourite of mine
Judy Churchill
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Diane Chamberlain novels. This story revolves around eight year old Sophie who has severe kidney disease. Possible cures, transplants, an auto accident all keep you focused on this very good book.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book because it mentioned WV in the description. Glad I chose it. It's a moving story that reminded me to always keep the faith.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Powerful book. Cannot say enough. The story from both mothers is so moving. I identified with both of them. Just WOW.
Alexa Greening
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked The Courage Tree a lot. I liked the suspense and the thrill throughout the book. I liked Janines determination to find her daughter too. Even though everyone went against her, she stuck with what she thought, and went to find her daughter by herself in the deep, thick, forest. I think that Zoe saved Sophies live. Sophie also knew a lot about her condition so that helped Zoe out a lot. Zoe had a very tough decision to make, and I feel that she made the right decision. It was either this l ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Play Book Tag: The Courage Tree / Diane Chamberlain. 4 stars 1 8 Apr 01, 2018 06:43PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 18, 2015 07:20PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Courage Tree by Diane Chamberlain 1 11 Jan 12, 2015 04:17AM  

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Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 26 novels published in more than twenty languages. Her most recent novel is The Dream Daughter. 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 ...more