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Book Review: The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain

Book Review: The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain

I received this book for free from Library for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain
Published by Mira Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction
Setting: USA-North Carolina
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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A suspenseful thrill ride about two sisters and how they deal with grief and tragedy.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Maya and Rebecca Ward are both accomplished physicians, but that’s where the sisters’ similarities end. As teenagers, they witnessed their parents’ murder, but it was Rebecca who saved Maya from becoming another of the gunman’s victims. The tragedy left Maya cautious and timid, settling for a sedate medical practice with her husband, Adam, while Rebecca became the risk taker.After a devastating hurricane hits the coast of North Carolina, Rebecca and Adam urge Maya to join them in the relief effort. To please her husband, Maya finally agrees. She loses herself in the care and transport of victims, but when her helicopter crashes into raging floodwaters, there appear to be no survivors.

Forced to accept Maya is gone, Rebecca and Adam turn to one another—first for comfort, then in passion—unaware that, miles from civilization, Maya is injured and trapped with strangers she’s not certain she can trust. Away from the sister who has always been there to save her, now Maya must find the courage to save herself—unaware that the life she knew has changed forever.”


My Thoughts:


The story is about two sisters who endure witnessing the tragic murder of their parents as teenagers. It’s interesting how these sisters lives diverge from this tragedy. The characters are real and relatable, the way the sisters deal with their grief molds them into the adults they are to become. How would you handle witnessing such a tragedy? Become a strong, independent, risk-taker like Rebecca or a timid, safety-first life like Maya? I am an only child myself and very timid and cautious. As a mother, I’m always fascinated how different my kids personalities are from each other although they have the same DNA and upbringing. Is it nature, nurture or our life experiences along the way that develops our personalities?

This book was also set in my home state of North Carolina during a hurricane no less. I’ve lived in NC for more than half my life and we know to take threats of hurricanes seriously. We don’t live on the beautiful NC Coast and still Hurricane Fran in the 90’s took out our power for a few days. The high winds were terrifying as it knocked down trees and power lines like they were toothpicks. We were on the Coast when Hurricane Ophelia came upon shore. We were evacuated from the condos and our week vacation was cut short. Before we left, we took some amazing pictures of the surf, huge waves that hours later would pound the coast and flood homes. Reading about the hurricane victims and picturing the rain and high winds that accompany these natural disasters hit close to home for me as well.

This was the first Diane Chamberlain book I read and I must say one of my favorite books so far. She captivated my attention from the first page and I never suspected the events that would unfold. Although my library classified this as a romance book, I would classify it more as a suspense. The romance is second to the twists and turns that kept me guessing (and it turns out, I never did guess right).

Will Maya ever make it back to Adam and Rebecca? How has her life changed since the helicopter accident? Will Adam choose Maya or Rebecca? Yep, you guessed it, you gotta read it to find out. But don’t worry, it won’t take you long, I couldn’t put it down!


Favorite Quotes:

“Every family has a story, and I love that those stories are etched in sand rather than granite. That way we can change them. We can bury the lies and embrace the truth. And we can move forward.”


Do you have siblings? How similar are you in your personalities? Are you a Rebecca or a Maya? Ever been through a hurricane? I’d love to hear your stories. As always, happy reading!





About Diane Chamberlain

From Goodreads: “I’m the author of 22 novels published in more than eleven languages. I like to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of my books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, my stories usually feature a combination of suspense, mystery and intrigue.

I live in North Carolina with my significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and my shelties, Keeper and Cole–the only non-reading members of the household!

Please visit my website and blog. I look forward to seeing you there!”

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  1. I haven’t read any books by Diane Chamberlain yet, but I’m adding this to my TBR. I am lucky enough to live in a place where there aren’t hurricanes, I think I would be scared to death!

    Great review, Tanya 🙂 Thanks for sharing and introducing me to a new author 🙂

  2. You ask “Is it nature, nurture or our life experiences along the way that develops our personalities?”
    I definitely think it is a combination of all of the above. Great review! I’m definitely more timid and cautious, like you. I’m also an only child.

    1. Very true, I think it’s a combination too. Though looking at how different my kids are, nature seems to play a bigger role than I thought since they are getting pretty much the same nurturing and life experiences at this stage in their lives. Surely that will change as they get older.

      Thanks for the compliment, glad you enjoyed my review. So do you get a bad rap for being an only child? I admit I’m spoiled and my parents gave me everything I could ever want, but I’m certainly not entitled/expect things to be handed to me and work hard for what we have now. I feel like when I say I’m an only child, some people have a stereotype of what that means.

      Thanks for stopping by Julie!

      1. I sometimes get teased by people from big families and told that I must be spoiled since I’m an only child. My husband used to tease me but he knows better now. I’m not spoiled cause I didn’t grow up rich or anything, but I do think I’m more sheltered. I definitely don’t feel entitled, and sometimes other people who aren’t only children act more entitled anyway. Its all about whether you were raised with manners heh.

  3. Tanya – you write the most beautiful book reviews. I don’t read a lot of fiction, but this post sure makes me want to read this book. I have two sisters and other than that we are all introverts we are very different. It is mostly in our values; which is kind of weird since our values come from our environment.

    1. Aw, thanks Savvy Working Girl, you just made my day! Do you enjoy reading or listening to nonfiction? What types do you enjoy? Have any recommendations for me? I’ve been trying to read more nonfiction too and you’ll find some throughout my blog. I’m reading a nonfiction right now called Devil in the White City about the architect and building of the World’s Fair in Chicago during late 1800’s and the serial killer who used the Fair to lure his victims. Very compelling and interesting read.

      Thanks for sharing about your sisters. Amazing how different siblings can be. My kids are so different now, I’m curious to see what they’ll be like as teenagers and adults.

  4. I don’t think that I’ve read anything by this author. (It’s so hard to remember!) This sounds SO powerful Tanya, glad you liked it!

  5. This sounds so interesting. I feel like I’ve read Diane Chamberlain before. I need to look her up. I know she sounds familiar! I always love the way you do reviews. You really give us a good feel for the themes without spoiling every last thing that happens!! –Lisa

    1. Oh, BLERGH! I just realized…I’ve not read her but she also wrote The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes!! THAT’S where I’ve heard her name before. UGH. I hate when my brain malfunctions!! –Lisa

      1. lol, you got it, Diane has 22 novels and 1 coming out in Sept. I’m gearing up by getting my reviews of her books up on my blog, I’ve read probably 6 of her books and they were all great. She lives in my hometown so I’m all about supporting a local author and local bookstores!

    2. Thanks so much Lisa, it means a lot to me that you enjoy my reviews. I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone. I will only reveal the same as what’s on the cover, but it’s challenging to have a good discussion before my blog readers have read it! Anyway my goal is to introduce my favorite books to people in the hopes they find something good to read or try a book in a new genre. It’s hard for me to find books that you haven’t read yet, you must have quite a library! 🙂

    1. Which one is on your list? I haven’t met a Diane Chamberlain book that didn’t get a 4 or 5 star. She really draws me into the character’s situation. She always puts them in an ethical dilemma with a twist. If I had a sister, would I ever hook up with her husband? On the surface, I’d say of course not. But what if they were in a situation like Rebecca, Maya and Adam? I can’t help but empathize with the characters.

  6. This sounds like such as wonderful book! My sister and I were the only two kids and we were raised by my father. We never really got along and grew apart over the years, until my dad passed one year ago yesterday. All he ever wanted was for the two of us to get along, so on his deathbed we made that promise. It is hard to keep, but slowly we are coming back together, close as sisters should be.

    1. Wow, what a story. I’m sorry to hear of the anniversary of your dad’s passing. I am sure he’s proud of you and your sister in knowing that you are trying to make the relationship work. I always wished I had siblings but I have adopted my brothers and sisters in law and close family friends as my sisters and brothers, whether they want me or not 🙂 Even though none of them are blood relatives, we still have our challenges.

      Thanks for sharing a piece of your family with me. My heart goes out to you and your sister.

  7. My sister, brother, and I are nothing alike. My mom is a straight forward no nonsense person and I picked up her traits. My sister went in the complete opposite direction and my brother plays the aloof uncaring of either side type. Couldn’t be more different, but came from the same environment.

    1. In a house full of girls, I guess playing aloof might have been his path of least resistance 🙂 Thanks for sharing your family life, I think it’s so interesting to learn about where people came from.

  8. I’m a big Diane Chamberlain fan. I haven’t read this one but I stumbled upon her quite accidentally. It was interesting because at the time I was living in Wilmington, NC and that’s where the book took place…. and I drove by the neighborhood it took place in daily. Perhaps that added to my love of her books?

    As for me, I’m the oldest of four girls and I am fairly cautious. I used to be the risk-taker but after two hip surgeries I have become a lot more tame (although that’s mostly because it’s physically difficult, not because I don’t want to do the risky things!) We grew up in Florida and battled our fair share of hurricanes, but we were in the center of the state so for the most part we escaped unscathed.

    Great review, Tanya!

    1. I agree with you Allison about having a personal connection to the book’s setting. Diane Chamberlain wrote on her website that she also has Rheumatoid Arthritis so I think that gives me a deeper connection to her than I have to most authors. Regadrless, I love her stories and the characters she creates.

      Oldest of four girls? Sounds like a busy and hormonal household 🙂 I can understand surgeries slowing you down, I hope they’ve helped whatever pain they caused you. I’ve had surgery on my right hand and right foot. After foot surgery, there went my dreams for walking in a half marathon for the Arthritis Foundation. Did your sisters let you take the risks, get into trouble with your parents and then learn how to avoid the same fate? I think that’s what happened with my husband as the oldest of 3 boys. His parents thought he was the trouble maker but I think he tested the waters and then his brothers learned from his mistakes. 🙂

      Thanks for the compliment, glad you enjoyed my review.

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