Book Reviews

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain


The hits keep coming for Carly Sears. Her husband Joe was killed in Vietnam, and the joy she felt at discovering she was pregnant turned to devastation when she learns her unborn baby has a fatal heart defect. Her brother-in-law tells her a way her baby can survive and it sounds insane to Carly…  but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save her baby girl.

This isn’t your typical Diane Chamberlain novel. The blurb calls it “mind-bending” and it’s an apt description. I think it’s safe to say that it’s known at this point that there is a time travel aspect to this story. Time travel is a common aspect in many science fiction novels, but this story—despite the time travel—doesn’t read like science fiction in the slightest. If this was a concern for you, trust me when I say that it only enhances a fantastic story.

Carly’s willingness to do anything to save her child is something I could easily identify with. Her anguish at hearing of her daughter’s fatal heart defect, and the surge of hope she felt when her brother-in-law offered to help was so well written—the emotions Carly experienced mirrored what I felt as I read about it. Each step of the way, as new conflicts and problems came about, I knew how Carly would feel before reading it, because I felt a deep connection with this character.

When it comes to stories with a time travel element, certain rules have to be established in order for the reader to be able to suspend disbelief. (In the Outlander series, for example, the ability to time travel is made possible by a group of standing stones, specific times of the year, and the use of gemstones… but only specific people have the ability to time travel.) The Dream Daughter also follows a set of rules that make time travel possible.

As a reader of numerous time travel novels, I have to say I was impressed with the set of rules Chamberlain devised for this novel. Things that factored into the calculation of traveling to a certain date—as well as issues that could throw the calculations off—made a lot of sense to me. The rules were elegant in their simplicity, and easy for any reader to understand. I also appreciated the fact that there were limitations to the ability to time travel, because that sparked an intriguing sub-plot that was enjoyable to read, as well as creating a sense of urgency to the main story.

I could go on and on about all the things I loved about this book. The characters introduced throughout were well written, and even the most minor character was enjoyable to read about. There are many choices that result in (or arise from) conflicts of some nature; each choice was a hard one that had meaningful impact later on.

I do hope you’ll give this beautiful book a chance… it’s definitely a book worth reading.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.

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Author: Diane Chamberlain
Title: The Dream Daughter
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Time Travel
Publication Date: October 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a thrilling, mind-bending novel about one mother’s journey to save her child.

When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly’s part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.

About the Author

DIANE CHAMBERLAIN is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 25 novels published in more than twenty languages. Some of her most popular books include Necessary Lies, The Silent Sister, The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, and The Keeper of the Light Trilogy. Diane likes to write complex stories about relationships between men and women, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friends. Although the thematic focus of her books often revolves around family, love, compassion and forgiveness, her stories usually feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets and intrigue. Diane’s background in psychology has given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create her realistic characters.

8 thoughts on “The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain”

  1. I got this one from audible after I read some good reviews, but then forgot about it after getting other books. Great review, glad to be reminded of this story so I can get to it. Thanks Betty.

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