Friday, October 10, 2014

#REVIEW - "The Broken String" by Diane Chamberlain (Prequel to The Silent Sister)


In celebration of the forthcoming novel The Silent Sister, Diane Chamberlain introduces Riley MacPherson in the e-short story The Broken String. As seventeen-year-old Riley MacPherson rushes to the side of her brother who has been gravely injured in Iraq, she recalls their growing up years when he was her protector and best friend. Why did that relationship fall apart? She longs for a second chance to connect with her brother, not realizing that family secrets may prevent them from ever having that closeness again.

This novella is really a prequel to Diane Chamberlain's NEW RELEASE of "The Silent Sister" that just released this past Tuesday, October 7th, 2014. In my opinion, this truly is required reading prior to reading the novel, yet many people may not know this little gem of a novella exists, which is a shame.
This is one thing I disagree with that this author does. She puts these little novellas out there (like she did with the novella “The First Lie” which I believe should be read prior to full novel “Necessary Lies”, but it lingers out there practically unknown, OR, include the novella in the novel as a Prequel to the story.) I would love to see these novellas combined into the novels so the Reader gets the benefit of what that novella holds for those Readers who don’t know these novellas exist. Even though the novellas are short little things, they hold a LOT of important information that is vital to the novel, at least in my opinion, from reading them. I would like the publisher to know this, too. Bring both the novella and the novel together, marry them in later editions if necessary, if that is the way it needs to be done. Why not include these novellas as a Prequel IN the book? For instance, this novella could be a prequel in her novel because it shows us the very close knit relationship between little sister Riley and her big brother Danny which is what we do not fully understand when reading the novel, or at least I did not feel as if I really felt the bond between these two siblings until I read the novella, and that was AFTER I read the novel. Yes, we are told how close these two were while growing up, but it is not as detailed as it could have been in the novel, at least not to the extent it is in this novella. This is why this novella is so important to read prior to the novel and why I don't understand why this author doesn't include them with her novel, or go as deep into their relationship in the novel itself, or include this as a prequel. The author does not bring this feeling of closeness I felt of brother and sister to the novel itself. In the novel we are told they were close, but we didn’t get anything near what this novella holds. I understand getting everyone excited for the new release with a novella, but . . . I sure would have understood their relationship was much closer than what I understood it to be portrayed as it was in the novel. It wasn’t until I read this novella, and that was after I read the novel that I fully understood how close these two silings were. I understood how much Danny protected Riley as they grew up.
So yes, this novella gives us a very good look at the intimate relationship between little sister Riley and her big brother, Danny, four years her elder. This novella delves deep into their relationship and shows us just how close they really were, where the new novel falls very short in this area. I really missed this in the novel, and I did not have as clear of an understanding of ‘how close’ these two really were in the novel. If it weren’t for this novella, I would never have understood exactly how close these two really were just by reading the novel alone.
This novella is vital to read prior to The Silent Sister. Had I realized this novella was out prior to reading the novel, I would have had a completely different understanding between these two siblings' relationship while reading the novel. I love how the author shows us how these two interact, how Danny is the protector of Riley, the close knit bond of these two, and what happens when Riley is hurt how Danny cares for her, and vice versa when Danny is hurt while in Iraq and Riley goes to Germany to care for Danny.
I noticed in another review it stated this book is non-essential to this author's new book, The Silent Sister, but as I said above, I highly disagree because this book goes deeper into the relationship between this brother and sister. I am quite surprised that I read that. Again, this information was not given to us in the novel, and I feel this helps to truly show how close these two really were because we do not get this in the novel itself. That opinion kind of saddens me.
I’ll say it again, I hope in the future this author or the publisher decides to combine these two books together once the novel is released, or perhaps includes the information that is in this novella into the novel so the Reader gets the full understanding of the bond these two siblings have, or what they had at one point during their lives before their relationship really drifts apart.
Diane Chamberlain is an excellent writer who doesn't miss a beat when it comes to including every little tiny detail to her stories, and if you're careful, you'll catch the little things that could go undetected! This is one of the things I love most about this author’s writing, the tiny details. I find most authors don't go as far as she does in this area. Reading a Diane Chamberlain book is quite an experience to read. I HIGHLY recommend reading just one of her books then I tempt you to not pick up another! She’ll have you hooked! Personally, I would pick up any one her twenty-three novels she has written almost over any other book(s) out there. She really writes superb novels that are full, rich and satisfying. Try one out and I think you'll agree with me! If you don't, let me know!
This author is like no other out there when it comes to women’s fiction, and I LOVE the way she writes! While reading any one of her books, you know you are reading a rich, full novel that leaves you very fulfilled and satisfied when they are over. Each book is a book you will never forget.
I chose to read this novella from the publisher, St Martin's Press from NetGalley in exchange for to write a review of what I thought about the book. This review can be positive or negative, just as long as it's my own opinion.

ebook only: $0.99 cents!


  1. I saw Diane at a bookstore event the night of the book release. She explained to us that these novellas are actually written after the books are complete. Maybe that's why they are not linked to the novels? I'm excited to read both of these!

  2. OnDBookshelf,
    Thank you SO much for telling us that Diane Chamberlain's novellas were written after she wrote the novels! That makes so much more sense knowing that! I believe you are correct in that it only makes sense that the novellas are not linked to the books. I sure would hope in future printings (listen to me! I AM predicting there will be more! I have NO doubt!) that hopefully these will be incorporated into to each novel as they hold so much information that I think is vital to the stories.
    You were so lucky to be with her at that bookstore event on the day of her new release! Wow!
    I can say you will find much enjoyment from these books! Hours and hours of pure enjoyment reading them!
    When I write my review for The Silent Sister I will be sure to include what you told us, and I'll post a link to your blog, too, as I believe my followers will enjoy your blog as much as they do mine! I LOVE your blog! We like to read a LOT of the same books!
    Again, thank you SO much!

    1. No problem Laurie, I'm happy to impart info if I can. Diane lives in my area, so we are very lucky that she usually starts her book tours at my local Indie bookstore. She told us her next novel is almost done, and will go to the editor next month, with a release probably next fall. She told us the title, but I only remember it has the word Dancer (or Dancing) in it. Thanks for checking out my blog, I read (and adored) A Man Called Ove because of your review :)

    2. Hi OnDBookshelf!
      Congratulations on your NEW book blog! I just saw it is brand NEW! I must have missed that when I was there the first time! It certainly does not sound new at all!
      I'm SO glad you loved A Man Called Ove! It was a great book! I'm glad my review helped you find that book, too!
      You are SO lucky to live by Diane Chamberlain, AND to have an Indie bookstore, too! ALL of our indie bookstores have been wiped OUT by Barnes and Noble, and that is SO SAD!!! It didn't take long, either. No one can beat their sales they have. What a shame, huh? The ONLY bookstores that did NOT close are the religious! HA! Some stayed open!!! Those stores outdo B&N by FAR! (Thank gosh someone can beat them out!)
      We do have a Used bookstore that does quite the business! I know the authors don't make money on their books being sold as used, but they DO make money when people love their books and then they go and buy a NEW book!
      Oooooo! Dancing! I HOPE it's ballet! I danced ballet for 13 years! From 3-1/2 to 16-1/2 - or until I got this body with 2 growths that protrude in the front and HIPS on my sides! UGH!!! LOL!!! That RUINED ANY CHANCE I had as a ballerina!!! I had myself going off to a New York or France ballet company! I was NEVER so disappointed in my LIFE! Or maybe she's doing pole dancing? LOLOLOL!!!! Just kidding! (Please don't tell her that last part! LOL!)
      We have got to get each other's email addresses! Mine is laurieisreading at g mail dot com and we can write and talk more! I'd love it! I can help you with any blogging questions you might have, too! Looking forward to it!
      Have a great rest of the week!

  3. Nice review, I really appreciate this blog for fiction books.
    best books for young adults

    1. Hi Rilesa!
      Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment! Yes! I LOVE to read fiction! Thank you for the nice compliment about appreciating my blog for it! That means a lot! I am glad you enjoy my reviews! They come from the heart!
      I'm so glad you liked the review for The Broken String by Diane Chamberlain! The review for her book that this novella is about, The Silent Sister, will be posted this Sunday night, Oct. 19th just before 9:00pm! Earlier that day on Sunday, and every Sunday by noon at the latest, (most all of the time it's usually posted on Saturday evening at about 9:00pm) I do a post every weekend of the NYTimes Top 15 (20) Bestsellers for the previous week in Fiction - combined ebook and print! I like to leave it up all day on Sundays. I usually end up leaving it there until Monday or Tuesday, but I really want to get The Silent Sister review posted as people are waiting to read it, and usually I spend Sunday's with my husband, and then the kids, 'if' they happen to stop by! LOVE when they do that! I don't expect them this weekend, though. Hubby will be into the Nascar race this weekend, and I will be a little bit, too, as this weekend is huge! I'm going to try not to bother him too much this weekend, though, because there is something about points and what drivers make them, and I don't understand it! LOL! I'll let him watch the race and I'll write my review and read! Normally I LOVE watching the race, but I know he's going to be on the edge of his seat watching and waiting to see who makes it into the next round! You'll see me tweeting about Nascar, too! LOL! I do enjoy it, but I'm not a diehard like my husband is!
      I see you left your blog's address, so I will surely come visit you! Thanks for doing that!
      Tonight I just posted a new review for the book, Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs. I LOVE Kathy Reichs! She is the writer and producer of the TV show Bones. That happens to be my FAVORITE TV show! Kathy Reichs is amazing! She's an author, screenplay writer, and in addition to that she is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec. She is one of only fifty forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. A professor of anthropology at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition to ALL of that, she also is a frequent expert witness in criminal trials. I don't know HOW she does it ALL?
      You have a wonderful weekend! I'm sure I'll see you around!
      ALL the best to you!

  4. Just read it ... it does set up and explain the tensions in "The Silent Sister".


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