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Secret Lives  By  cover art

Secret Lives

By: Diane Chamberlain
Narrated by: Johanna Parker
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Publisher's Summary

Actress Eden Riley's decision to make a film about her mother plunges her into a shattering confrontation with her own past, irrevocably altering her life and the lives of those she loves. Her mother, Katherine Swift, was a renowned children's author who died when Eden was very young. Now Eden, recovering from a divorce and disillusioned with her glamorous life, returns to the childhood home of the mother she barely knew. She moves in with her uncle, archaeologist Kyle Swift and his wife, Louise.

Eden gets more than she bargained for when Kyle gives her the journal her mother had kept from the age of 13 until her death. Eden is spellbound by the powerfully written, intimate diary that chronicles a life of hardship, madness, and tragedy. But her fascination turns to horror when she discovers the shocking truth about her mother's life.

Eden turns for comfort to Ben Alexander, Kyle's colleague, not knowing that Ben has a secret of his own that could ruin Eden and her career. Now Eden must make a heartbreaking decision as she struggles to lay the ghosts of the past to rest and come to terms with her own future.

Shifting gracefully between Eden's world and Katherine's, Secret Lives seduces with the power of its images and the lyricism of its prose.

©1992 Diane Chamberlain (P)2013 Tantor

What listeners say about Secret Lives

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dark Family Drama

This is the fourth audiobook of Chamberlain’s that I have listened to this year. The performer does a wonderful job of bringing all of the characters - young, old, male, female, Southern and Northern - to life. And Chamberlain takes a family drama with the darkest of elements - child molestation, incest and yet somehow makes her audience genuinely care about each of these characters, even while being repulsed at times by their actions. It’s an engrossing story and though it does feel on the predictable side, it is one of of those audiobooks that I found myself listening to as much as possible. I will definitely continue to both read and listen to her work!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wow. Just, wow.

A multi-layered book of dysfunction, misfortune, and varying forms of mental health catastrophes. Yet... I hated to put it down. Performance is really annoying at first, but either the whine becomes less noticeable as the story picks up, or is abandoned altogether.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Emotional

Don't give up on it in the first few chapters. Once your in your in deep. Emotionally distraught, confused, happy, relieved, and then it seems those feelings start all over again

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not my favorite Diane Chamberlain book...

While I enjoyed this book, I didn't like it as much as many other Diane Chamberlain novels. It felt "romance novel-ish", sort of Danielle Steele like, as opposed to her other works.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not her best

It wasn't her best book. It had some good parts and some VERY
cringe worthy moments

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not what I expected

What would have made Secret Lives better?

Less descriptive sex.

Has Secret Lives turned you off from other books in this genre?

Well, I don't think so. I had read Diane chamberlains' silent sister and enjoyed it so much that I got another by her... NOT the same caliber of writing!

Did Johanna Parker do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, she did. She helped you form a picture in your mind of who was speaking.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The story was okay, interesting, but I was disappointed in some of the unnecessary descriptions of sex scenes.

Any additional comments?

I think I'll wait for the follow up to Silent Sister to read anymore of ms chamberlains books.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Drama-o-Rama

Lord I am exhausted!

Diane Chamberlain is one of those authors whose books I read because she is the author. So far it’s been a steady way to go but this book makes me leery about reading others.

It was a preposterous drama-onion, with seemingly never ending layers of emotional twists and turns that just left me rolling my eyes in the end.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

Why does the narrator sound like a drunk with a bad cold? Otherwise, a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Just Didn't Enjoy...

Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors, but this book- not so much. The subject matter was difficult to take in. At times the narrator read so fast and monotonous, I would find myself zoning out.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Scream at the narrator!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Johanna Parker?

Anybody! I'm not sure if I can finish this book with the drawl from this narrator. Her voice takes a difference long pitch on the last work of every sentence. Diane Chamberliain has great stories but this narrator was a horrible mistake.

1 person found this helpful