Monday, May 5, 2008

Before The Storm-Diane Chamberlain

Before The Storm
Diane Chamberlain
Mira, Jun 2008, $13.95
ISBN: 9780778325413

Although her son Andy is fifteen years old, Nurse Laurel Lockwood keeps a close string on him because he suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; an illness she blames on herself. Whenever she feels he can go off without her safely, she is anxious but guilt propels her to allow him. Bbesides the obvious she knows she is overprotective. Thus Andy attends a youth function at their church Drury Memorial where everyone knows he is different as his ingenuousness makes him socially immature.

When a fire breaks out in the church several people die, but heroic Andy saves many others. Laurel is elated that her son not only survived, but he saved lives. However, her euphoria turns to horror when a witness claims seeing Andy outside the church before the fire; because of his handicap most consider him the arsonist; even Laurel has doubts about her son’s innocence.

The complex tale grips readers as the audience obtains a deep look at how a tragic event impacts on the lives of several individuals, to include not just mother and son, but his older sister Maggie and others. Diane Chamberlain effortlessly changes perspective, which enables the reader to not only see what that person sees, but also into how their present perspective is impacted by their relative past. With a plausible critical spin BEFORE THE STORM is a fascinating tale as a smothering mother recalls her vow when Andy was ten hours old and taken from her, but fears this incident tests her resolve.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: