Review of Summer’s Child by Diane Chamberlain


Early on the morning of her eleventh birthday, on the beach beside her North Carolina home, Daria Cato receives an unbelievable gift from the sea—an abandoned newborn baby. When the infant’s identity cannot be uncovered, she is adopted by Daria’s loving family. But her silent secrets continue to haunt Daria.
Now, twenty years later, Shelly has grown into an unusual, ethereal young woman whom Daria continues to protect. But when Rory Taylor, a friend from Daria’s childhood and now a television producer, returns at Shelly’s request to do a story about the circumstances surrounding her birth, something precarious shifts in the small town of Kill Devil Hills.

The more questions Rory asks, the more unsettled the tiny community becomes, as closely guarded secrets and the sins of that long-ago summer begin to surface. Piece by piece, the mystery of summer’s child is being exposed, a mystery that no one involved—not Shelly, Daria, not even Rory—is prepared to face.


Thank you to Harlequin Mira for kindly sending me a review copy. It was unexpected and I couldn’t wait to read it as it was my first read of Diane’s novels.

At age 11, Daria finds a new born baby on the beach. She doesn’t seem to acknowledge what has happened at first and I couldn’t help but wonder what she was hiding. The narrative quickly moves on to 22 years later and readers are left with a big gap of unanswered questions. What has occurred since then?

Every chapter is crucial in this book. The big ‘who is the mother’ secret is kept until the ideal moment, but I have to be honest, I really wasn’t surprised. The build up was weak and lacked a grip. It wasn’t obvious who the mother was, but I sat reading the book and it had no effect on me at all. I wasn’t shocked, or surprised. I found myself finishing the book still with a lot of unanswered questions.

For me, the dialogue spoilt the book. There were a lot of unrealistic and dramatic conversations which threw me away from the main plot line.

I really wish I had enjoyed it more, but sadly, I didn’t.

Twitter: @D_Chamberlain
Website: http://dianechamberlain.com/