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The Lies We Told [Paperback]

Diane Chamberlain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 25 2010
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.

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Review

"Diane Chamberlain is the Southern Jodi Picoult." - New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe "Diane Chamberlain is a marvellously gifted author! Every book she writes is a real gem." - Literary Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Diane Chamberlain is the bestselling author of twenty novels, including The Midwife's Confession and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. Diane lives in North Carolina and is currently at work on her next novel. Visit her Web site at www.dianechamberlain.com and her blog at www.dianechamberlain.com/blog and her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Diane.Chamberlain.Readers.Page.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read!!! Nov. 3 2010
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Rebecca and Maya Ward are both doctors, but that's where the similarities between them ends. Rebecca is a more adventurous woman while Maya is more layed back and likes her days to be the same. She enjoys her paediatric practice and likes the days she spends in the clinic.

When Rebecca and Maya were teenagers, the saw their parents murdered but Rebecca saved Maya from being the killer's next victim. The killing of their parents left Maya very cautious and timorous, attending her medical practice each day with her husband, Adam.

Rebecca works full-time for an organization called DIDA (Doctor's International Disaster Aid). She attends places that have been flooded, towns/cities that have been ravaged by hurricanes and tsunamis. Rebecca is a huge risk taker and loves her job with DIDA, although it gets hectic and she often has to work 2 or 3 days in a row, but she gets a charge out of caring for the patients she sees in these devastated areas. Soon Rebecca is called to North Carolina where a devastating hurricane has hit the coast and there are thousands of people trapped in the airport looking for medical care. Rebecca and Adam, Maya's husband, head off into the unknown, with no awareness of what they'll find when they get there.

Adam decides it would be a good experience for Maya as she has never done anything remotely close to working for a disaster organization and they didn't have a paediatrician on their crew. He calls her at home and convinces her to come and help. Maya threw herself into the job caring for patients but when the helicopter she was flying in crashes into raging floodwaters, there appear to be no survivors. Rebecca and Adam are devastated.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and compelling June 12 2010
By BookChick TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Rebecca and Maya are sisters with a past that haunts them. As teenagers- Maya was 14, Rebecca 18- they witnessed the murder of their parents by one of their father's ex-students. Rebecca put her life on hold to raise her little sister and to keep her out of foster care, and both went on to become doctors. That's where their similarities end- Rebecca is now a doctor working with DIDA, a group of doctors sent to disaster areas. Maya is an orthopedic surgeon working with children (she knits tiny little bones together), married to a fellow doctor, Adam, who is desperately trying for a baby.

After Maya miscarries her third baby, Adam is called to help when a hurricane devastates the coast of North Carolina. Realizing that a pediatrician is badly needed, Adam convinces timid Maya to come down to help out. Shortly after her arrival, the helicopter bringing Maya and several patients to a local hospital goes down. Maya is missing, and she is presumed dead.

Meanwhile, Rebecca, usually the one who jumps from one relationship, one adventure, to the next, finds herself dreaming of motherhood. Even worse, she finds herself intensely attracted to Adam, her sister's husband, and finds herself unable to stop thinking about him. Adam and Rebecca turn to one another in grief and in passion, unaware of the fact that Maya is alive, but injured and stranded on a small island with strangers. Maya must find a new strength to get her through a threatening situation, not knowing that life as she knew it has changed forever.

I enjoyed "The Lies We Told" far more than I had even anticipated. I tore through it at almost a frantic pace, desperate to know what was going to happen next.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  96 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No lie...this is a good read! June 25 2010
By Denise Crawford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Disclaimer: this book would have earned a 5-star rating from me had it not ended the way it did. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I thought that the resolution of the conflict and the way the story wrapped up was just not realistic in light of how I had viewed the characters, their personalities, and their motivations throughout the course of the novel.

Maya and Rebecca -- sisters, friends, doctors -- have a special bond that was created in the aftermath of the murder of their parents when both were teenagers. Wild and free-spirited older sister Rebecca takes on the burden of caring for and raising 14-year-old Maya when she is barely 18. Both go on to medical school and have very different lives as adult women. Maya is the quiet one; she's married to a fellow doctor named Adam, and they long for children. After suffering through a series of miscarriages, their marriage is faltering. Rebecca is deeply involved with a relief organization known as DIDA (Doctors International Disaster Aid) and lives her days ricocheting from tragedy to disaster all over the world. The sisters are very close and supportive of each other, all the while continuing to live in ways that support their self-created myth that Maya is the weak one and Rebecca is the strong one. The lies they tell each other, and the ones they hold in their hearts, are roiling beneath the surface calm of their lives.

After a third miscarriage, Maya is disconsolate. Adam is distant and shattered by a revelation that Maya makes in the doctor's office. When a hurricane hits the North Carolina coast, he signs on immediately and joins Rebecca at a makeshift airport infirmary where they are inundated with more sick and injured than they can handle. Both urge Maya to come help in the relief efforts, and against all odds, she shows up! Unfortunately, while on a transport mission, the helicopter that she is riding in crashes into a flood zone and there is no sign of her at the site.

Believing Maya dead, Rebecca and Adam become closer than ever in their shared grief. But something changes between them. Meanwhile, the injured Maya is held on a piece of land that is surrounded by water, with no way off the island, and a fear that her rescuers might not have her best intentions at heart.

The sisters learn more about themselves and then the pieces of their shared history begin to unravel as each starts a journey of self discovery. Rebecca and Maya will never be the same.

I thought the book was great until the last couple of chapters. I liked the character of Maya much more so than the persona of Rebecca -- for various reasons. I don't feel that the pat ending that the author wrote (and by the way she is one of my favorite authors) rang true and it really irritated me. I'd be interested to hear if other readers felt it was too contrived and unbelievable to them as well.

In any event, if you can get past the ending, you'll enjoy the book. I'd still recommend it.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the story - HATED the ending!! Aug. 12 2010
By Jennifer Medlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Lies we Told is a good book, but I hated the ending. Maya and Rebecca Ward are sisters that went through a tragic past together and as they have grown older they couldn't be more different.

Rebecca is the one with no roots-the risk taker, she works for DIDA, a medical organization that travels to all the disasters in the world to provide medical care. Maya, her sister, who also happens to be a doctor, work in a hospital. Maya is married to Adam and they are desperate to have a baby. Maya has had many miscarriages and it is starting to take a toll on her marriage. Adam wants a bit of excitement too and has signed up to do a run with DIDA at least 2 weeks out of the year which frightens Rebecca to no end.

A terrible hurricane hits the coast of North Carolina and Adam and Rebecca are sent to help, but once there they realize that the situation is terrible and that they could use Maya's help. Maya is reluctant, but she thinks that she could help her marriage if she goes to the disaster sight to help out.

The author does a fabulous job and setting the scene. The reader has a very clear picture of the disaster and of the relief efforts at the airport and the descriptions of the people are heartbreaking. After a few days Maya is sent with one of the helicopters and it crashes.

For me this is where they book turned for me. Maya is fighting for her life, upset that her husband and sister might think she is dead and what are Rebecca and Adam doing...fighting their attraction to each other, WHAT??? For me it was ridiculous. Adam and Maya were supposed to love each other a great deal and the bond between Rebecca and Maya was one forged by tragic circumstances, BUT that doesn't stop Rebecca and Adam from being pulled together????? I won't say anything else on the subject as I don't want to give away all the little details, but at this point, I could NOT like the characters of Rebecca and Adam. It just didn't seem to fit with the story. AND the ending....hated it....let's just wrap it up in a pretty little bow?!? It seemed to easy and too insane to end the book that way.

I like this author and I will continue to read her books, but I have to say that this one was not my favorite....great idea, great start, and then she lost me.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?! Sept. 25 2010
By J. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
You have two sisters who have survived the murders of their parents as teens. The two sisters have responded in completely different manners. Rebecca - constantly puts herself in danger as she volunteers as a dr in disaster zones, while her younger sister, Maya, also a dr, chose a more sedate career as a pediatrician. Things change when Maya joins her husband as well as her sister in an area hit hard by 2 hurricanes.

****Spoilers***
Up until the helicopter crash, the characters were somewhat believable: Maya and Adam grieving over their difficulties in conceiving and then staying pregnant with Adam discovering that maybe Maya's abortion she had as a teen could be the cause. Rebecca is becoming disenchanted with her lifestyle, boyfriend, and wanting more. Then, Maya's helicopter crashes. All of a sudden Adam and Rebecca who are grieving, are hot for each other and fighting their attraction to one another. Cue the banjos - Maya's trapped in Deliverance. She's on this isolated island in the south with an abusive, crazy, white man, his pregnant, teen common law wife, and an elderly black woman. In a series of events Maya escapes the island with Simmee and her baby, while being shot at by the crazy man. It cures Maya of all her fears/PTSD tied to her parents' murders. Seriously?!! And the ending, PLEASE! Somehow, Adam and Rebecca end up together. They have no chemistry; the whole 'I can't keep my mind off of you' thing they had while Maya was missing - completely unbelievable. The thing is, is that Chamberlain CONSTANTLY tells the reader how Adam feels about Maya. It's obvious that he loves her. You see it the way he talks about her and treats her. For him to suddenly transfer his affection to Rebecca, just doesn't feel right. Rebecca, who loves her sister dearly, wouldn't hook up with her sister's husband. It's implausible. It's really quite too bad that it ended this way because I can see how this experience would have made Maya and Adam's love for each other stronger.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story Aug. 7 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Okay, I admit it. I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain. I have read her books for many years and loved them all. This one does not disappoint. Chamberlain is a former psychologist/social worker and really understands people very well. She has seen some of the darker sides of life and the effects that secrets and lies have on people. She weaves stories that just keep you on the edge of the chair.

I am not going to write too much about the story because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I thought the cover blurb on the book had too much information and I was glad I didn't read it until after I read the book.

This is the story of two sisters with a rather complicated history and relationship. Both are doctors. One is married to a doctor and is trying to have a baby without success. The other sister is a free spirit who works at disaster sites all over the world. The two sisters are close and the one husband is great friends with the other sister too. Each sister has her own secrets and while they are close, the lies between them could tear them apart if they ever discuss them.

While they are all three working at the site of a terrible hurricane and flood they become separated and cannot communicate for quite a while. The story follows each sister through the time of separation.

What I love about all of Chamberlain's books:
There are always surprising twists and turns
No matter how much I think I have everything figured out, I am usually wrong
The characters become like friends and you hate to see them go when you finish the book
Her locations are always interesting
Interesting characters always inhabit her stories.

What I love about this book:
The description of the airport where the disaster victims are brought
Interesting backwoods North Carolina characters.
It was very well researched as usual.
I could not quit until I learned how it came out in the end.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rocky Romantic Road June 24 2010
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Sisters Maya and Rebecca, both physicians are practically polar opposites. Sun-struck Rebecca is a firebrand who eagerly joined the DIDA (Doctors International Disaster Aid). She is a globetrotter, traveling worldwide as a medical missionary.

Moonstruck Maya settles into a comfortable pediatric practice and an equally comfortable marriage with Adam, a man who desperately wants children. His goal is to ensure that his bloodline continue.

The sisters became orphans when their parents were killed at gunpoint. Rebecca, then 18 was forced into raising Maya, then 14. Maya feels indebted to Rebecca who saved her from Child Protective Services. She also feels somewhat guilty, the "guilt of the survivor" syndrome for having been in the car when their parents were killed.

The sisters embark upon a wary Dance of Deception, each somewhat resentful of the other and each somewhat envious of the other. The one thing they DO need to talk about is the traumatic conditions under which they became orphaned.

Tornadoes and natural disasters are a rampant theme in this book. Just as the sisters were drawn into a maelestrom of trauma in their youth, they each get caught up in a real tornado that hits their home coast.

Rebecca and Adam help the Relief Effort through DIDA and Maya is presumed dead. She initially stays behind as is her wont; she is timorous and not inclined to take risks.

Adam implores Maya to join them and she does so very reluctantly. At the time of Adam's call urging her company, she is encouraging a seriously ill child onto the helicopter that is bound for the DIDA relief efforts. Sadly the helicopter crashes to the craggy cliffs below.

As the days pass, Adam and Rebecca turn to each other. This is not surprising, but it is disappointing nonetheless. Maya is presumed dead, so Adam and Rebecca soldier on, convinced that they are free and clear to pursue a romance and give voice to their unrequited love for each other.

Maya's condition and the people with whom she is in contact sound quite implausible in places. Another stroke of irony is that Maya and her husband and sister are just a few miles apart.

One could feel for Maya, who lost so much. It was hard not to want to kick Rebecca in the shins for bird dogging her brother-in-law. Maya, the moon-struck sister is as light, gentle and cooling as lunar light; she is compassionate and the perfect foil to the meteorological maelestroms that surround her.

Sun-struck Rebecca, on the other hand had a ruthless side to her. I did not like her and felt she was a self-serving and superficial personality. Her work with DIDA did not come across as altruistic; in her case, one got the sense that she wanted to be lauded for her heroism and altruism. True altruism seeks no return and heroes are more often than not warriors and casualties. In one sense, Rebecca is a casualty of her own avaricious nature.

Adam seemed decent enough, but I never really got a literary "sense" of Adam, the essence of his character. It bothered me that Adam willingly consummated the affair with Rebecca because, due to the time factor Maya's whereabouts were still unknown. She was also not formally declared dead. What Adam and Maya shared was gentle and beautiful and, yeah, real. When Rebecca entered the equation, the figures became thrown off count.

Even though, I still loved the book. Thanks to Vine, I discovered this wonderful author and I will continue to enjoy her books.

Stephen Stills' of CSNY fame's 1969 classic "Love the One You're With" could easily be the soundtrack of this book.
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