Breaking the Silence, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


"My husband shot himself in our bedroom. When I got home, Emma was standing at the bottom of the stairs, screaming. "Since that awful day, Laura Brandon's little girl hasn't uttered a word.

When a psychiatrist suggests that Emma won't talk because she's terrified of men, Laura is guilt-ridden.

To help Emma, she needs to know what unspeakable secret lies behind her husband's suicide.Laura thought her family was perfect, but her quest leads her to a shocking truth.

For her child's sake, should her father's sins be kept silent?Praise for Diane Chamberlain `Fans of Jodi Picoult will delight in this finely tuned family drama, with beautifully drawn characters and a string of twists that will keep you guessing right up to the end.' - Stylist`A marvellously gifted author.

Every book she writes is a gem' - Literary Times'Essential reading for Jodi Picoult fans' Daily Mail'So full of unexpected twists you'll find yourself wanting to finish it in one sitting.

Fans of Jodi Picoult's style will love how Diane Chamberlain writes.' - Candis


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9780778304142

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

This is a lovely book, really great. It was similar to feel to those by Jodi Picoult although I don't think she's done a similar plot to this. I found reading it had a nice feeling for the most part and I really enjoyed it. It was difficult to put it down however and it left me wanting to know what happened to the characters afterwards, even though all the major plot points had been tied up. The characters were just so realistic and alive that it left me wondering what came next for them. However I do think a sequel would ruin it (but I'd love to read one). I especially loved the poignancy of the last line of the book. I won't share it as I don't want to ruin it for anyone.This is a tale with twists to it. I did guess one of them but there were at least three major twists I had no idea about. Several of them I didn't realise were twists coming up and one of them made me gasp in shock when it happened. That's not to say this is a shocking or scary book because it isn't. Part of the story does take place in a psychiatric hospital and some of those scenes could be distressing to some as it details treatments involved, some of which were done to patients against their will. From reading a note at the end of the book I believe that similar things did happen although the patients and setting in the book are fictitious.I can't recommend this book highly enough, it was fantastic.

Review by

This book was a real attention grabber with a typically clever Chamberlain plot that hooks you as a reader right from the start. This novel actually has two narratives that cleverly interlink by the end of the story though at first it seems implausible that they are connected at all- one set in the present day and one forty something years previously. The structure works though, with clever flashbacks that really take you into the characters minds. Overall this was emotional and a story of real depth, combining suspense, intrigue and mystery against a family drama. Chamberlain is a writer that really grips you.The premise of the story is a fairly simple one; a deathbed wish from successful astronomer Laura's father leads to deeply hidden secrets being uncovered that will have dramatic consequences for everyone involved. Though the premise is simple though, this is a novel with twists and turns, trauma and deceit. The plot is fluid and fast paced with lots of bolts out of the blue to keep you guessing. It is admittedly very bleak in parts but mostly emphatic and moving. You do have to wonder how you would handle the same situations if you were faced with them yourself which as an author is a really skilful question to pose your readers.There were many plot devices that worked: one in particular was acknowledgement after people's deaths and how we really see them in hindsight which was quite insightful and layered excellent retrospective dimensions to the plot. The author has also clearly researched into mental illnesses, mutism, post traumatic stress disorders and their effects as well as the impact a debilitating illness like Alzheimer's can have and also how such cases were treated in the past- some of the archaic methods to treat such conditions were really horrific and made me shudder, but again were woven into the text skilfully.Generally, all of the characters are excellently drawn with flaws and personality traits that make them believable, if not always likeable. I loved Dylan and Laura and Emma was such a beautiful child and I really felt for her predicament. Halfway through the novel there is the suggestion of what is eventually going to happen but that doesn't detract from the books enjoyment- if anything it makes you as a reader want to read faster to get to the end!I have deducted one star because one plot twist that I never saw coming, I just felt that it wasn't really needed and it felt a bit creepy (you may understand when you read it)! All in all though, this was an excellent piece of contemporary fiction- suspense, mystery and family drama with a nice dash of romance. I would recommend this if you have never read a Chamberlain book before, or if you are a fan of Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah or Anita Shreve. *This review also appears on*

Review by

This is well written on the whole - which is typical of Diane Chamberlain, and I did enjoy the characters. However, I have to say the plot twists are simply ridiculously melodramatic and a couple of times I just had to laugh out loud and do a lot of groaning. This is the sort of thing a good editor should pick up on and tone down - so I do admit that I grew rather fond of the Evil Doctor (capitals deliberate) and thought he'd make a brilliant main character of his own novel. I think I was supposed to hate him, but I thought he was wonderful.Not the best Chamberlain novel around then. Oh well.