Diane Chamberlain on books and writing

27 February 2017

By The Window Seat

We sat down for a bookish chat with Diane Chamberlain, bestselling author of The Silent Sister and The Midwife's Confession and one of our all-time favourite writers.
 
Do you have a favorite book or author?
 
I will always love E.B. White’s children’s book Charlotte’s Web. A teacher read it to my class when I was six years old and it was the first time I realized that a human being could create a story that made readers laugh and cry and feel, and I knew then that I wanted to be a writer. 
 
Which book do you most often recommend to friends?
 
It’s going to sound ironic, but the book I recommend the most in recent years is Stephen King’s 11-22-63. It’s not horror, but an engrossing, highly entertaining time travel story. 
 
Which book makes you cry?
 
I cry easily so that’s tough to answer! I have a distinct memory of waiting for a friend outside a restaurant many years ago. I had The Color Purple by Alice Walker with me and I began reading page one. I was weeping before I got to page two. 
 
Which book have you reread the most?
 
I’m certain the answer would be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s such a simple, yet brilliantly told story. As I writer, I’ve always been fascinated by the way Lee engages us through the eyes of a child. 
 
Is there a book you wish you’d written?
 
Oh there are many! The first that comes to mind is Kristin Hannah’s Nightingale. What I love about that book is that the story is gripping and deep, yet written in a style that can easily reach many different types of readers. 
 
Who would be in your dream book club?
 
I’m actually IN my dream book club. I live in a relatively small neighborhood and nearly all the women—about forty of us—belong to the book club. Our backgrounds are diverse which makes for wonderful and educational discussions of the books we read and meeting once a month draws us together. 
 

Diane Chamberlain's The Escape Artist, a moving tale of the sacrifices a mother will make for her child, is out now. 

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