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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    184
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    130
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    190
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    102
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    167
  • 4 Stars
    114
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    52
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    8
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Omelia
  • Huntington, MD, United States
  • 07-13-15

So not good....

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. The book was medicore. The perfomance was medicore.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The mystery.

What three words best describe Johanna Parker’s performance?

She is great as Sookey Stackhouse, but not the best reader of this book.

Do you think Secret Lives needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I don't care to follow up. This books leave alot to be desired.

Any additional comments?

Just don't waste your money/credit on this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not her best

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wow! Just wow!

Incredible twists and turns! I would never have imagined it would end like this! wow!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very good listening

A number of twists and turns and a good story generally. The accents, I found, were sometimes trying, I'm hoping the next book I get by this author doesn't include any form of child molestation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Teri
  • HENDERSONVILLE, TN, United States
  • 01-27-15

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 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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 of 3 people found this review helpful