Diane Chamberlain has written 27 novels, all of which have been translated into more than twenty languages and are incredibly popular worldwide.
Many of her books have been best sellers in the New York Times, USA Today, and Sunday Times.
Diane Chamberlain’s previous job experience as a social worker and psychologist has had an impact on her writing, which enables her to create intriguing tales that engage the reader on multiple levels.
Her works are always imaginary tales that are full of storytelling and center on characters that fans adore.
The vast majority of her works are set in the 1960s or prior decades.
Because of this, Diane Chamberlain conducts a significant amount of research into the era in question to make sure that the novels are as historically accurate as is practically possible.
Because of how well her books portray the era in which they are set, many people believe them to be works of historical fiction.
With so many books under her belt, it will probably take you a while to read through them all.
But if you have already achieved this feat, or you’re simply looking for authors with a similar vibe and storytelling style to Chamberlain, then there are plenty of books you can try out.
If you love Diane Chamberlain’s various books, including the highly esteemed Necessary Lies and The Stolen Marriage, then you’ll love the works of similar authors Joshilyn Jackson and Heather Gudenkauf (see also “Authors Like Alex Flinn“). Read here to find out which books you need to check out.
Books By Diane Chamberlain
Necessary Lies is widely regarded as one of Diane Chamberlain’s most compelling works. In addition, it’s the first book in the immensely well-liked Necessary Lies series.
The main characters of the novel are a young girl named Ivy Hart, who is 15 years old, and a social worker named Jane Forrester.
The action of the story takes place in 1960 on a rural tobacco plantation in North Carolina.
Hart has lost both of her parents, and she is now responsible for taking care of her mentally challenged sister and her elderly grandmother, as well as trying her best to manage her own epileptic symptoms.
Forrester, on the other hand, is a social worker who was assigned to Hart’s case as part of the eugenics program in North Carolina.
Even though Forrester has a horrifying job to do, he has reservations about the forced sterilization of Hart and quickly uncovers some sinister secrets about the Hart family.
Diane Chamberlain herself has said in the past that her books are hard to characterize in terms of general and common themes.
The most overarching theme in almost all of her books though is relationships. Whether it’s between brothers and sisters, men and women, to much more, she has written about almost every kind of relationship there is.
Authors Like Diane Chamberlain
Joshilyn Jackson is a novelist whose books have been best sellers in both the New York Times and USA Today.
Her suspense novels, which keep readers always wanting more, center on timely issues affecting women and raise questions about justice, motherhood, career, class, and the difficult mechanics of redemption.
In the past, she has written eight works of Southern fiction, all of which conceal a suspenseful element such as a murder mystery or a thriller within the family drama.
Her work, which has garnered widespread recognition, has been rendered into more than a dozen other languages, and Jackson is also recognized for her work as an audiobook narrator.
This heartbreaking, funny novel is an emotionally compelling story about the endurance of love and the power of stories to change and reshape our lives.
Paula Vauss, who was born in Alabama, spent the first ten years of her life traveling with her free-spirited mother, Kai, a nomadic storyteller who merged Southern Oral Tradition with Hindu mythology to re-invent their past as they traveled.
Paula’s birth name, Kali Jai, was changed after she revealed her own story, which put Kai in prison and landed Paula in foster care.
Separated and each with her own secrets, the once-strong relationship between them was severed.
Paula has been reborn as a tenacious Atlanta divorce attorney with a thriving practice.
Even though she hasn’t seen Kai in fifteen years, she continues to make payments on her Karmic debt – until the day her final check is returned with a strange message that changes her whole world.
- Great character writing
- Amazing and thorough world-building through the joint past and present narratives
- Blends Hindu stories into the main plot in a beautiful way, so you may even learn more about this
- Ends a bit abruptly
- A bit too rude for some people’s tastes
Themes: family relationships, contemporary settings, religion, culture, historical fiction
Author of eight novels, Heather Gudenkauf has been nominated for an Edgar Award and is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.
It didn’t take long for her first book, The Weight of Silence, to become a New York Times bestseller, and it stayed on the list for 22 weeks.
Novels written by Gudenkauf always seem to garner high praise, and it’s because of this popularity that her books have been published in more than 20 countries and in multiple languages.
This is Gudenkauf’s first novel, and arguably one of the most popular.
This is a carefully organized story that takes place over a few tragic summer days in Willow Creek, Iowa.
Calli Clark, who is now seven years old, has not uttered a single word in the past three years, since she had a particularly bad encounter with her father, Griff.
During this fight, Griff makes the snap decision to take his deaf daughter into the adjacent woodland, where the two of them promptly become disoriented and lost.
At the same time, Calli’s best (and only) friend Petra goes missing, and a manhunt is initiated.
Deputy sheriff Loras Louis, who’s deeply in love with Calli’s mother, is in charge of the search for Petra.
Gudenkauf is skilled at ratcheting up the suspense while moving the plot forward at a breakneck pace.
Her homeland is a very desolate place, with all of the predators and people who are “walking wounded,” but despite this, her unsentimental perspective on the setting is able to discover some glimmer of hope without becoming overly dramatic.
Family relationships, both good and bad ones, are one of the biggest themes that you can find in Heather Gudenkauf’s books.
She really focuses on the dynamics of these families, why some choose to stay in them, and why others leave.
- Opens with a bang and you’ll instantly be hooked
- Great character development. Everyone is flawed but you won’t mind because of how well the characters are written
- Very suspenseful
- Shows a darker side to family relationships, though you may not be into this kind of reading
- A very dark narrative means that this isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll be sobbing at the end
- The narrative is from multiple points of view, so it can be a bit confusing working out what’s going on at times.
Themes: family, relationships, mystery, suspense, and adult fiction.
Diane Chamberlain is obsessed with writing about relationships. Whether it’s between loves, enemies, families, and more, every type of relationship has been covered in at least one of Chamberlain’s 27 novels.
If you’ve somehow worked your way through all of these, or you’re looking for something similar but from a new perspective, then you should check out the authors and books we recommended above (see also “Authors Like Sherry Thomas“).
Both Joshilyn Jackson and Heather Gudenkauf are authors who also love examining relationships, and between them have covered almost every base in this genre.
They also both write in a similar dark tone to Chamberlain, and their books can cover some very serious topics that may make some readers feel a bit uneasy.
But the suspense and mysteries that they’re able to create will keep you hooked until the very end.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Diane Chamberlain Still Write?
Yes, Diane is still writing, and we know that she’s working on her next book. However, there’s been no publication date, and it’s likely not going to be released for a long time.
Is Necessary Lies The Start Of A Book Series?
No, Necessary Lies is not the start of a series, although a lot of fans would love an update on the characters. Currently, though, it is a standalone novel and a very good one at that.