BOOK CLUB: The Dream Daughter

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Author: Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 9781529011050
RRP:  $24.99
Publication Date: 9 October 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Diane Chamberlain is a prolific author I have managed to read a couple of times, and I have still got one on my TBR to get back to. She writes compelling character driven stories and The Dream Daughter is certainly that.


The Dream Daughter is also something very different to her usual stories with elements she hasn’t explored before and it took me totally by surprise. I am not going to say too much about it because it’s something that wasn’t mentioned in the synopsis so I don’t want to be the one to spoil it. It was unexpected but explored in such a way that it just added to the story.

Caroline (Carly) Sears is a recent widow, she lost her husband in the Vietnam War, but she will always carry a piece of her beloved Joe with her because she was lucky enough to fall pregnant before he shipped out. The thought of the baby is often all that is keeping her going, until the appointment that the doctors tell her that her beloved baby girl has a heart defect and there is nothing they can do, nothing anyone can do. Carly is devastated, though a part of her hopes that the Doctors are wrong.

Her brother-in-law is a physicist and tells her there may be a way to help the baby but Carly has to trust him, suspend disbelief and take a leap of faith. Hunter is a beloved member of the family but there is an air of mystery about him and the way he came into the family five years before.

Diane Chamberlain takes us on a heartfelt exploration of what lengths a mother will go to for her child, and her family. It’s hard to talk about the story without spoilers so I’m stuck, and have been for days now. I don’t want to give away the big twists before people read the book but at the same time there is so much I want to say. I actually want to go and trawl the Goodreads reviews to see what’s been given away and how the spoilerless reviews were handled because I’m that far into struggle town but I tend to steer clear of other reviews until after mine is written to make sure my review remains wholly my own thoughts.

I loved this book, it gave me a lot to think about. The characters, with one exception, were all absolutely adorable and the character that I found it hard to like was still understandable. There are some ridiculously tricky decisions to be made that I honestly don’t know if I would be able to make, though I’m certainly pleased to know I’ll never need to.

There are a couple of different mother and child relationships in The Dream Daughter and they are all very different, Chamberlain deftly illustrates that every mother and child relationship is different but that doesn’t change the overpowering love a mother feels for her child and how that love can colour the decisions they make; the sacrifices that they will make to ensure their child has the best they possibly can.

The character cast is quite diverse and there was something to love in all of the characters, even the one that I didn’t really like. A story bursting with strong women who have faced struggles and managed to persevere. A story that encompasses some major world events and adds a different perspective to allow us to see them through different eyes.

The Dream Daughter is thought-provoking and trying to wrap my head around it left me reeling at times but the added element fit this story perfectly, not to change the way Chamberlain writes but as a way to explore the mother-child dynamic from an original perspective. I think the story arc and the character development was expertly woven, even in unfamiliar territory for Chamberlain and I would be interested in more about these characters, almost a filling in the gaps kind of story.

This is definitely a story I would recommend to readers of character driven stories with an open mind and an empathetic heart. I absolutely loved it, and am still thinking about it days later.

You can follow Diane Chamberlain on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Thanks to Pan MacMillan 10 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading and reviewing The Dream Daughter so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

The Dream Daughter is available now through Pan MacMillan, Booktopia, Angus & Robertson and where all good books are sold.

12 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Dream Daughter

  1. I’m quite irritated about and unable to be objective regarding Diane Chamberlain’s “The Dream Daughter.”

    This is not the fault of Beauty and Lace in any way.

    I am stunned at what I see as deception with the blurb and publishing details – or lack of. Absolutely nowhere was it made evident that this wasn’t a beautiful, soft, lovely novel relating to a Mother’s love for her unborn child. This child would be born in the 1970’s and not live due to a serious heart defect. The novel is, instead, a science fiction novel. I found the lack of information anything but clever marketing because as someone who thinks the theme that takes over is something I have no interest in or ability to suspend belief so I can enjoy such a novel, there’s no way I’m going to be able to provide a balanced or appreciative review. I’d never willingly put my hand up for a book like this, even though it was my first choice.

    Michelle has reviewed brilliantly, as always and doesn’t want the theme to be advertised so I will respect that. I felt that the target audience for a novel like this was lost because it didn’t appeal at all to me and I suspect some others who have no interest whatever in a science fiction novel but those who would love that could miss out, thinking it could be “mushy.”

    I really don’t like being so negative however I simply can’t be positive in any way regarding this novel because it is portrayed as something I don’t believe it becomes, while missing out on another audience.

  2. I really enjoyed the Dream Daughter for the unique and intriguing story of what could be!
    As Caroline put her trust in her brother in law without much thought of what may happen she was able to use all of the strength and courage which she has stored to follow through on saving her unborn child.
    So many mysteries, challenges and concern as this story unfolds.
    I don’t want to give it away but it does challenge your inner ideas.
    Thank you for writing outside the square Diane Chamberlain. You have a new fan!

  3. First of all, this book was not what I was expecting. I was however pleasantly surprised by the direction it took and the many plot twists along the way. I could not put this down and I spent many late nights reading this one!

    Caroline (Carly) is an OT and she and her sister Patti grew up very close. Their lives were not an easy one with many tragic events littering their past. When Carly finds out her pregnancy will not be straight forward, her brother in law Hunter steps in to provide support and a solution. Carly must choose to trust his judgement and face the possibility that this will be the only positive outcome she can hope for. Should she risk it all by trusting Hunter?

    Not wanting to give anything away, I am not sure what else I can say, except that I loved the book! Although I wondered if this would be a to emotional read for me as a friend’s beautiful baby tragically passed away with HPLHS. Yet it was a stirring and beautifully written tale. Being that it was the first of Chamberlains books I’ve read I am very impressed and happy to recommend.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan Macmillan Australia for the reading and reviewing opportunity.

  4. Diane Chamberlain is one of my USA go to authors. All of her books that I have read have engaged me immediately, and this book was no exception. Diane likes to write about social issues and this book is quite a departure from her previous novels, but an interesting one at that! It tells the story of Carly whose husband Joe has just been killed in the Vietnam war, she is heartbroken but joyous to discover that she is pregnant with Joe’s baby. She receives devastating news that her baby has a fatal heart defect and will not survive once born. It is 1970 and medical advances have not progressed yet to consider fetal surgery. Her brother in law Hunter however has a solution to her situation which sounds unbelievable to Carly, but she is willing to take a risk for the health of her unborn child. I cannot say too much more without giving away too many spoilers. If you were a fan of the Time Traveler’s Wife you will love this book.

    Imagine being propelled into our current world not knowing about computers, mobile phones, technology, and having no friends, or identity. It sounds so scary. I loved this book, and enjoyed the departure into a slightly different genre from Diane. There were hurdles, obstacles & twists which made the reading even more enjoyable.

    Thank you so much to Beauty & Lace and Pan Macmillan for the review copy of this book for an honest opinion.

  5. Thank you, Pan Macmillan and the ever wonderful Beauty and lace for the chance to read this wonderful book!
    From page one I was totally entranced, intrigued and the twists with a dash of sci-fi made this geek very happy. However this really isn’t a sci-fi book (trust me, it’s my favourite genre 😉 ) Rather the twist is used as a tool to show the strength, trust and the lengths a mother will go to save her unborn daughter. This is a love story on so many levels, it explores the mother-child bond in a few completely different relationships. The bond between life partners and the trust that can form between friends and friends who become family. I loved Carly for her strength, vulnerability, trust and ultimately her willingness to be what is needed by those she loves. An unputdownable, unforgettable read.

  6. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan MacMillan for my copy to review.

    I always like to guess the plot twists before the come up, but with The Dream Daughter, I missed every single one of them. This is my favourite book of the year so far.

    Part 1 – I couldn’t put down. But when I discovered what was about to happen in part 2 – I had to leave it for a few days. I couldn’t believe what the Author was about to do to Caroline. It turned out to be a double plot-twist and I was surprised once again. I read the rest of the book in one afternoon.

    There is a Science Fiction element to this book, but this is not a Science Fiction book. It’s about belonging, it’s about family, and it’s about choices. Beautifully written. Brilliant well thought out characters (even the minor characters have their own personalities and feel like real people). I was emotionally involved in the story and shed happy tears at the end. Caroline Sears was a real person to me, and that’s the highest compliment I can give to an author.

    I’ve never read a Diane Chamberlain book before, but I’ll be looking for another one

  7. Diane Chamberlain has written a superb novel that allows for us to take a glance into the world of time travel and the changes in life from one era to another.
    Carly and Patti, as sisters have gone through life and its ups and downs together. Their bond special and strong. Carly working as an OT meets and introduces Hunter to her sister who becomes her brother in law. He is a lovely, kind, gentle but unexpected man and becomes a very doting husband and father to Patti.
    Carly finds herself alone and pregnant as the war steals away her life and leaves her to live with her sister and her family on the beach. Due to a range of unforeseen circumstances, Carly is left having to make a choice between the unbelievable and the unthinkable. She is forced into a life well outside the realm of her existence for the sake of her unborn child.
    I find the continued juxtaposition between the timeframes used creates a heart-warming look into the past from different perspectives. It also provides an interesting view into how different lives, livelihood and heath has changes and morphed throughout the years.
    Diane also creates an interesting twist at the end that totally throws the plot into a direction that would have otherwise not have been contemplated.
    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Pan McMillian Australia for allowing me the chance to read this lovely book.

  8. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read ‘The Dream Daughter’. It was an awesome read and not something I would normally read. It had lots of twists and turns and had me intrigued as what was to come next. I couldn’t stop talking about this book to my work colleagues and one of them is currently reading it now and is enjoying it. Thanks Beauty and Lace for another great read.

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