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Diane Chamberlain

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Member Since: Aug, 2008

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The Bay at Midnight
by Diane Chamberlain   

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Books by Diane Chamberlain
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Category: 

Literary Fiction

Publisher:  Mira ISBN-10:  0778323412 Type: 

Copyright:  Sept. 1, 2006 ISBN-13:  9780778323419
Fiction

Her family's cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer—until her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.

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Her family's cottage on the New Jersey shore was a place of freedom and innocence for Julie Bauer—until her seventeen-year-old sister, Isabel, was murdered.

It's been more than forty years since that August night, but Julie's memories of her sister's death still shape her world. Now someone from her past is raising questions about what really happened that night. About Julie's own complicity. About a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. About the person who went to prison for Izzy's murder—and the person who didn't.

Faced with questions and armed with few answers, Julie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the complex emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.


Excerpt

All children make mistakes. Most of those errors in judgment are easily forgotten but some of them are too enormous, too devastating, to ever fully disappear from memory. The mistake I made when I was twelve still haunted me at fifty-three. Most of the time, I didn't think about it, but there were days when something happened that brought it all back to me in a rush, that filled me with the guilt of a twelve-year-old who had known better and that made me wish I could return to the summer of 1962 and live it over again. The Monday Abby Chapman Worley showed up at my front door was one of those days.



Professional Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Family secrets sizzle at the core of an unsolved mystery in this smooth, deceptively simple tale of romantic suspense from Chamberlain (In Her Mother's Shadow). During the summer of '62, two families vacationing at the Jersey shore, the Bauers and the Chapmans, are devastated by the murder of 17-year-old Isabel Bauer. Most affected is the victim's precocious 12-year-old sister, Julie, who feels accidentally responsible. Forty-one years later, Julie is a bestselling mystery novelist and a divorced, menopausal single mom, dealing with the demands of Shannon, her pregnant, unwed 17-year-old daughter, and Maria, her elderly mother. Then the niece of Ned Chapman, on whom Julie had a crush that fatal summer, arrives at her door bearing a letter from her uncle, recently dead of cirrhosis of the liver, claiming that the person convicted for Isabel's murder, an African-American named George Lewis, was wrongly imprisoned. Taking the letter to the police means reopening the case and shaking up the lives of both families. Through multiple points of view, Chamberlain skillfully explores the painful memories of the tragedy. The story of what really happened unfolds organically and credibly, building to a touching denouement that plumbs the nature of crimes of the heart.

Booklist - Kristine Huntley
Acclaimed but reclusive writer Julie Bauer is surprised when the daughter of a childhood friend turns up on her doorstep, bringing with her evidence that the man convicted of killing Julie's sister 41 years ago might have been innocent. The evidence is a letter found in Ned Chapman's house after his death, in which Ned claims to have information about Isabel's death. Ned was Isabel's boyfriend at the time of her death, and Julie meets with Ethan, Ned's brother and her former friend, with the hope of convincing him to take the letter to the police. Julie never believed the man convicted of drowning Isabel was guilty, but she isn't prepared for the family secrets, both past and present, that reopening the investigation will dredge up. Julie's younger sister, Lucy, who was a small child at the time of Isabel's death, is concerned about how the reopening of the case will affect their mother, Maria, but she's also worried that the secret Shannon, Julie's daughter, is harboring will shock Julie. Julie herself is surprised to find her feelings for Ethan growing as they spend more time together. Chamberlain's latest is both an enticing mystery and a rewarding love story; expect demand from word of mouth.


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