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BEFORE THE STORM
Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
A complex and emotional story, Chamberlain's latest charts the lives of several characters in first-person viewpoint. The device affords readers a panoramic view of events in all of their lives, both past and present, and makes for a very absorbing story.
Usually, nurse Laurel Lockwood keeps her 15-year-old son, Andy, close to her because he suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which makes the world a harsh place for him. But Laurel allows Andy to attend a youth function at their church. A fire breaks out, killing several people, but Andy survives, and he's a hero, having led many others to safety. At first this seems like a blessing, shining a favorable light on his disability, then someone claims to have seen Andy outside the church before the fire. Could he be the arsonist? It's a difficult pill for Laurel and others to swallow. And if Andy's not the culprit, who is? (MIRA, Jun., 480 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed By: Catherine Witmer
Published: June 2008