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Breaking the Silence

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  11,057 ratings  ·  1,028 reviews
Laura Brandon's promise to her dying father was simple: to visit an elderly woman she'd never heard of before. A woman who remembers nothing—except the distant past. Visiting Sarah Tolley seemed a small enough sacrifice to make.

But Laura's promise results in another death. Her husband's. And after their five-year-old daughter, Emma, witnesses her father's suicide, Emma ref
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by Mira (first published January 1st 1999)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,057 ratings  ·  1,028 reviews

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May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 sad stars.

“My husband shot himself in our bedroom. When I got home, Emma was standing at the bottom of the stairs, screaming.”

Since that awful day, Laura Brandon’s little girl hasn’t uttered a word. When a psychiatrist suggests that Emma won’t talk because she’s terrified of men, Laura is guilt-ridden. To help Emma, she needs to know what unspeakable secret lies behind her husband’s suicide.

This one was intriguing but heartbreaking.

I have read two other books by this author and they were
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so in love with this book. I was asked the other day what book I would pick if I could only have just one, and I think this book just might be it. It was one of those books that had me thinking afterwards. I was still making connections and asking myself questions about how one person knew another person in the past, or why somebody did what they did. This book involved so many different types of relationships and characters. I was very surprised at the amount of truth in this story. Chambe ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: She knew the instant she entered her father's room that he was not at peace. He was clearly worse than when she'd seen him that afternoon. His breathing was raspier, his skin greyer, and he was agitated. As he reached for her, his long arms trembling in the air, he wore a look of desperation on his once handsome face.

She took his hand and sat on the edge of the bed.

"I'm here, Dad." She guessed he had not wanted to die without her at his side and wished she'd ignored those red lights t
Shelagh Rice
I have read a few books by Diane Chamberlain and enjoyed them all, but this is my favourite so far. There are several different story lines running at the same time. A young child who is mute after going through a traumatic experience and her therapy and the worry of her mother. An old lady's fading memories of working in a psychiatric hospital during the '50s and and the awful treatment and experimentation on patients. A mother tracing the biological father of her daughter conceived after a one ...more
Sherri Thacker
Another 5 star book by Diane Chamberlain. You could tell a lot of research went into this book which makes it so great. It grabbed me from page 1 and I didn’t want to put it down.
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to not compare Diane Chamberlain with Jodi Picoult (even the book cover does this) but I didn't really feel like I was reading a Picoult book. Chamberlain's writing is still very distinctive and unique and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

This book was nearly impossible to put down. It's full of fascinating characters and tons of mystery. The whole time I was just so eager to know what the truth was and there was plenty of keep me entertained until the final truth came out
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star
Diane Chamberlain never fails to disappointment in her writing. Her stories are a beautiful mix of mystery, suspense, romance and family-orientated saga. Although many of her books were released in the nineties, and therefore outdated in some respects, much of her work has been published again and the cover art modernised.

Laura is a world renowned astronomer, wife to Ray and mother to five year old Emma. After Ray tragically commits suicide whilst alone in the house with their daughter, Emma be
Gina *loves sunshine*
so far I have enjoyed all of chamberlain's books, some more than others - she definitely writes a great contemporary female thriller, with a small side of romance! Breaking the silence was one of those books I really liked, but I can't quite give it 4 stars. There are books that I LOVE that only get 4 stars from we gotta go 3.75** Definitely a quick build up of suspense and quite a cast of characters that need to all come together at some point - I honestly had no idea how it was going t ...more
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can you say obsessed? My obsession with reading Ms. Chamberlain's works just keeps increasing. I don't know how I made it to the age of 44 without discovering this author. I am working my way through all of her books now.

Breaking the Silence was another winner, full of wonderful twists and secrets and surprises.

I used to work with clients who had mental illness and my mind went back to those people and how I would feel if the disturbing type of treatments were performed on them. It was disturb
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Jau penktoji mano skaitoma Diane knyga. Vertinant pagal šitą moterišką, jautrų romantišką, dramatišką žanrą, visos knygos daugmaž patiko. Vienos paliko didesnį, kitos mažesnį įspūdį. Didžiai išgirtoji „Pribuvėjos išpažintis“, visur išgirta kaip rašytojos kūrybos „perliukas“, ir man buvo įdomiausia iki kol perskaičiau „Nutrūkusią tylą“. Imdama šią knygą nieko per daug nesitikėjau – tiesiog atitrūkti nuo nusikaltimų ir kriminalų, kuriuos vieną po kito pastaruoju metu imu į rankas. Šviesus viršelis
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I want to immerse myself into a character driven book, Diane Chamberlain is my go to girl and once again she didnt disappoint.

I've really enjoyed my time with Laura and Emma, as with all Chamberlains characters I feel like I knew them inside out, that I get under all their skins and I find myself caring way to much.

Although I kind of knew where the story was going there was a few surprises which had me wide eyed.

As always a decent story from Chamberlain that swallowed both me and my t
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I've read a number of Diane Chamberlain's books, and I tend to find them pretty enjoyable. They're the literary equivalent of a good made-for-TV movie--the characters pull you in, the story moves quickly, and you can just kind of relax and go along for the ride. They're easy to immerse yourself in, and good for the days you want some light entertainment.

This one had an interesting premise--right before Laura's father dies, he makes her promise that she'll take care of an old woman suffering from
Diana Donnelly
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It starts off grabbing you immediately and I just figured the interest would wan in the middle somewhere. But that never happened and it held my interest throughout. It covered many interesting fields including psychiatry. In the 1950's some psychiatrists were experimenting with various drugs as well as doing lobotomies. They also were using headphones with tapes as some form of brainwashing. All of this I found very interesting. One character was a nurse in this type of hospi ...more
Heather L
Wow! Wow! This is going to be another favorite for me. The suspense, the love, the confusion, the heartache and heartwarming feel of it. I can't wait to discuss this one at book group. Diane has a style of writing that is effortless but at the same time gives so much power and emotion. What a story!!
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid but predictable mystery..., January 28, 2010
After reading a few of Diana Chamberlain's more recent novels, including my favorite, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, I could tell immediately when I started this one that I was reading one of her earlier books. That's not to say that this novel isn't good, it is -- but it is a fairly predictable story and the revelations at the end come as no surprise to any mystery reader. There are multiple things going on in the book but all eventually co
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2016
WOW - Not many books I read get 5 stars but this one well deserves it.
When Laura's dad dies he makes her promise to look after a woman in a nursing home. She has no idea who she is nor her connection to her father. Before she has time to dig a bit deeper, her husband commits suicide and her daughter, who probably witnessed it, becomes mute. She tries everything to help her daughter recover her voice but nothing works. Her daughter's therapist suggests finding out if Emma's birth father would be
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute book, nice drama, complicated situation. Really liked that the characters are not perfect, act in questionable ways (Laura confronting Dylan, Laura's father keeping such secrets), feel remorse for it, get hurt. Chamberlain has a gift for making an outlandish situation come realistically to life. Liked the Dylan character and the psychiatrist. I did not see the last twist coming, thought it was a bit too much. I hated the book cover, it was this garish red and gold affair with an antebellum ...more
Nov 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read
My opinion of this book seems to differ from most of the reviews I've read. I thought I had read this book before but couldn't remember the ending. Now I know why. For me, the ending was just unbelievable. There were parts of this book that were endearing and very interesting and the storyline was genius, but the conclusion just didn't work for me.
Christina McDonald
Fantastic plot, although quite a slow execution. Diane Chamberlain always draws very compelling characters, and Breaking the Silence was no different.
Nicky Wills
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book - I didn’t read the synopsis before starting the book so there were some big surprises early on. I think 5 stars may be a little generous, but I’d go with 4.5. So many twists and turns and connections - very enjoyable.
Kara Hansen
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This was a good solid story with engaging and interesting characters, a reasonable plot and a decent ending. I’m definitely a new Chamberlain fan and am looking forward to reading some of her other books.
Nabilah Firdaus
My actual rating: 4.3/5 stars for Breaking the Silence by Diane Chamberlain.

Breaking the Silence (BTS) tells a story of Laura Brandon, whose daughter hasnt spoke since her husband committed suicide. Before her husband's death, she was in search of a person named Sarah Tolley, an Alzheimer's patient, who seemed to have connection with Laura's deceased father.

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. There is so much to think about this book. This is my fourth book from the author and she is one hell of an au
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laura Brandon, renowned astronomer, promised her dying father she would look after Sarah Tolley, a woman with no family who lived in a retirement home. Despite the fact that she'd never heard of her and had no idea who she was or how her father knew her, Laura felt obligated to fulfill his dying request. However, when she told her husband, Ray, about it, he tried to dissuade her from doing it, shocking her with his uncharacteristic display of anger when she refused to reconsider. Ray accused Lau ...more
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Forty-year-old Laura Brandon and her sixty-one-year-old husband, Ray, lived a hectic and hurried life in the town of Leesburg. They have a five-year-old daughter named, Emma.

A few minutes after eleven on Christmas night, Laura receives a phone call from the nurse at the hospital where her father, Carl Brandon, is currently dying of cancer. Laura got dressed and headed out the door leaving Ray at home to watch Emma as she felt there was no point in waking her daughter at this time of night and dr
Judy Collins
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another page turner by Diane Chamberlain! I stayed up until 3:30am so I could finish (the twist regarding Laura, Joe, and Ray/Gilbert, was brilliant). This book reminds me a little of Jodi Picoult’s subject matter as highlights (muteness, suicide, and Alzheimer’s, the mentally ill, and other controversial topics). If you begin reading and feel it starts a little slower than most Diane’s books, do Not give up, as trust me as you will find the same suspense and excitement as you move along and wil ...more
Mar 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Rather far-fetched and a little too "happily ever after, everything tied up in a neat litle bow" for my taste, told in well-written if generic prose, this novel nevertheless was a fast and entertaining read. An excellent "beach book", or perfect for when you want to take a break to read something light. I'm not terribly fond of children or books with children as main characters, but Ms. Chamberlain graciously refrained from making 5 year old Emma overly cutesy and precocious. Of course, it proba ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eileens bookclub choice - I enjoyed the quick flow of the book and the easy reading for a change with a good storyline. Missing bookclub and I would love to have discussed the undertone of this book which is true guilt and felt guilt.

Dylan has guilt of a plane crash, not his fault
Gilbert (Ray) has guilt for what his work did to a child's family
Laura's father has guilt for keeping a secret of daughters roots
Laura has guilt for working too much
Sarah has guilt for not doing more for her patients
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought I had this story all figured out, but the author completely surprised me with the direction it took, a completely different direction than I had imagined. Kudos to her for that, as I always dislike a story being way too predictable. But that said, all the coincidences that happen toward the end seemed more than a bit unrealistic. I'm not saying the ending wasn't a sweet one. It would be wonderful if life really turned out that way most of the time. But it doesn't. So it's nice to have ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good story with unexpected turns that save it from cliche. I do not, however, recommend the audio version. The narrator is good with voices of the different characters, but she uses an annoying whisper for the general narration.
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me it was just an ok read.
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Women's Fiction B...: April: Breaking the Silence 1 3 Mar 08, 2019 07:22AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 11, 2015 12:42PM  
  • The Kindest Thing
  • A Sister's Gift
  • Goodnight, Beautiful
  • The Son-in-Law
  • No One You Know
  • Last Door
  • Life Without Summer
  • The Good Sister
  • The Slow Moon
  • A Theory of Relativity
  • Hidden Wives
  • Forever Is Over
  • One Breath Away
  • Falling Home
  • What Happened to My Sister
  • Outside the Lines
  • The Secret Ingredient
  • Postcards from Berlin
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
“Organized religion was not important to him, he said. It was more important how people behaved in their daily lives than what they did on Sunday.” 1 likes
“Working two part-time jobs and doing round-the-clock research was a snap compared to full-time motherhood,” she said.” 0 likes
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