This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

This started out really, really good. I was hooked, the first 100+ pages. I didn't want to stop reading but had to find time to sleep.

The book first introduces us to Corinne for a chapter, then we meet CeeCee Wilkes, Chapter Two, circa 1977. The connection to the two characters comes soon enough, well, at least after 100 pages or so.

CeeCee Wilkes' chapters were pretty amazing. They included letters from her mother, who died of cancer when CeeCee turned 12 years old.

Each chapter, with regard to CeeCee, started with a letter from her mother. Letters that her mother wrote to her, knowing she would die before her daughter. CeeCee had a loving mother, a mother who didn't want to die and leave CeeCee all alone.

And CeeCee was left alone...surviving through foster care until she turned 16 years of age, where she could legally be on her own.

But those letters touched me so much. The few sentences that were CeeCee's mother's words were so profound, that I found myself tearing up with each chapter.

But then Eve came along and the novel began to flatline for me. The beauty of CeeCee and her relationship with her mother was gone. A new storyline develops. We forget about CeeCee's mother, as well as CeeCee herself, the strong-willed survivor of foster care, working a good living to save money to go to college, after being so smart and graduating high school early.

The storyline turns a curve and goes down an entirely different path that becomes non-believable because those aren't the characters in the early part of the book. It's just different people. And it makes no sense.

And it gets worse: a good mother becomes a bad mother by instilling phobias into her daughter. How did that happen? And arthritis? What kind of storyline is that? What did this add to the plot?

Nothing, IMO. It just kept getting worse and worse. A great guy of 25-50 pages turns into an imbecile in about 10.

It just became a horrible mess at the end.


  1. OH NO!!! I just started Eve's section last night... too bad! (although I've felt like it has been a rather far-fetched story-line from the beginning)

  2. Ann: You're not supposed to read the review until you finish the book! :) But I'm with you on your feeling of the book. It'll be interesting to hear how everyone else felt about it.