Before the Storm, by Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 9780778325413 Publisher: Mira Books
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 consumed by fire, trapping the children and chaperones inside. Andy survives and manages to save others, as well. But the hero of the small town quickly turns into a suspect when some witnesses step forward and evidence is found tying him to the arson. Her daughter, Maggie has secrets of her own as the plot unfolds in this twisted investigation. Laurel finds herself asking how well she really knows her kids and how far she was willing to go to protect them.
Taken in first person point of view, from several different sources, makes this book a compelling read. Normally first person is very difficult to make secondary characters stand out and be heard. But this book almost had no secondary characters, as each had a voice. The book also jumped from past to present, seeming as if you are reading two different stories at once. Typically when this is done, it makes the book drag out, but it only engaged me further. Doing this style also can be harder to follow, but that wasn’t the case either.
Diane Chamberlain is a mastermind at crimes of the soul. Before the Storm breaks your heart again and again with each chapter. Amongst this, the investigation is alluring and not at all predictable. There were a few twists the reader will see coming, but the way it was written you can’t help but feel surprised anyhow. And whoa, the ones you don’t see…watch out. The characters were believable and relatable. It’s hard to imagine they are fiction. Even down to the flaws you loved them, rooted for them. The plot flowed well, both the past and the present. I think most of all, I liked that the book was written without giving you a whole picture of the history of the characters or events. You had to learn both in pieces. Very intriguing. Before the Storm is a haunting, powerful, and mesmerizing story, sure to win the hearts of any audience.
Author and Reviewer