Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

June 24, 2016 Book review 6 ★★★★½

Two facts about The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Fact 1 : It is known as The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes in the US (no idea why it’s different over here, I prefer the US title).

Fact 2 : It is an emotional timebomb.  The counter starts ticking on page one and it’s just a matter of time until you explode with some very messy conflicting feels.


Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Diane ChamberlainThe Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
Published by MIRA on January 31st 2011
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Family Life, Love & Romance, Social Themes, Suspense
Pages: 522
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

Would you live a lie to keep your child?
In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child. CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve died because she was there. She also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago CeeCee made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and CeeCee has another choice to make. Tell the truth and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die to protect a lifetime of lies.

!@#$ addictive Must-Read ReReadable Tear Jerker


First Line of The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain:

“She couldn’t concentrate on making love.”

My Thoughts on The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain:

In some ways this is a very typical Diane Chamberlain book.  It features complex characters, moral dilemmas, social workers and family life.  But even though it has all the typical elements, her books never feel the same.  And that is because her characters are so unique and so lifelike that they draw you and demand all your attention to their story.

CeeCee is the main character in this book and when we meet her she is sixteen years old.  Her beloved mother died when she was twelve and since then she has lived in various foster homes.  So when she meets Tim, she is gullible and screaming out to be loved.  He has his own agenda and uses CeeCee to further his own goals without much thought for the consequences for her.


“You got dealt some crappy cards. But you’re the one who has to decide how to play them.”


CeeCee finds herself out of her depth and it all ends with her living under a false identity to hide her past.  In some ways I want to reach into the pages and shake sense into her.  In other ways, I remember what it was like to be sixteen and in love for the first time and how much you just want to please that person.  So I understand just why she did what she did.  And I tore up inside for how conflicted and torn she was by her decisions.


“She felt happy these days, yet there was always an undercurrent of sadness just below the surface”


What I love about this book is that CeeCee makes awful decisions but is the very opposite of an awful person.  She is a tough cookie in many ways and she suffers endlessly for her youthful impulsiveness.  This is a book that puts you in her shoes and you do wonder what you would do if you were her.  Despite her regrets, she build a new life and it is a fulfilling life with love and laughter.  Unfortunately, in books and in life, secrets never stay buried for long and she is going to have to face the past with devastating consequences for all those who love her.


“The cost of doing something would be terrific; the cost of doing nothing even greater.”


This all makes no sense if you haven’t read the book.  So I think I’ll shut up now and just tell you go read the book if you want an emotional read with memorable characters.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Who should read The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain?

I strongly recommend this book to you if you like well-developed characters, books that make you face moral dilemmas and books about being a mother.  Fans of Diane Chamberlain’s other books should also enjoy this one.  I’d also recommend if you like authors such as Liane Moriarty or Jodi Picoult.


Talk to Trish:  If you knew a secret that would tear up your family, would you reveal it or keep quiet?  Even if keeping quiet is the morally wrong thing to do?  Quite honestly, I don’t know.  I might just zip my lips to protect those I love.  I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve read the book.




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6 Responses to “Book Review: The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Diane Chamberlain is an author I need to revisit. I have one of her books but I ended up putting it down because it just wasn’t what I was in the mood for at the time despite the fact that I did like the writing and the story line. This sounds like a thought provoking and emotional read and makes me remember why I wanted to read Chamberlain’s books in the first place!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Friday Linkups – Death on the Nile

  2. Dawn O'Brien

    I was sure I’d read this book, ive read so many Diane chamberlain books, but reading your review, I don’t think I have!
    I don’t think I could keep quiet if I knew a secret!

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