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The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
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The Secret Keeper (edition 2012)

by Kate Morton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7261574,103 (4.1)106
Member:lilkim714
Title:The Secret Keeper
Authors:Kate Morton
Info:
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:historical fiction, WWII, London, England, relationships, families, death, Edelweiss

Work details

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

  1. 80
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (thebooky)
    thebooky: gothic in style
  2. 60
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (2LZ)
    2LZ: Kate Morton is an an amazing author and storyteller. The Forgotten Garden is one of my favorite novels, and I thought it was even better than The Secret Keeper.
  3. 40
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (pdebolt)
    pdebolt: Similar in tone and intricacies of their mysteries.
  4. 30
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both books begin with a young girl witnessing a crime of sorts that will powerfully affect her own life and the lives of her family members. Both books also are set in England during World War II.
  5. 00
    Stone's Fall by Iain Pears (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The unearthing of secrets in different eras tie together these atmospheric historical novels, and while there are family secrets at the heart of both (as well as a rather suspicious death), Stone's Fall ties into more contemporary events as well.… (more)
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» See also 106 mentions

English (152)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (157)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
This book is a slow and steady book about Vivien, Dorothy and Dorothy's daughter Laurel. It flips back and forth between 2011 with Laurel's life and WWII with Vivien and Dorothy. The book slowly reveals their lives and how Vivien and Dorothy know each other as Laurel tries to uncover her mother's past. I will say this book has a surprise at the end that I thought could happen but when it did happen it was a little bit of a wow. I did enjoy this book and would recommend it if you don't want anything fast paced and just want something about love, friendship, family and a little bit of crazy. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
While this book begins a little slow, with various characters introduced until your head explodes, the characters' development is gripping and the final story is amazing. I couldn't put it down for the last 50 pages. And while I thought I knew the ending, and I thought it was going to be tragic, I was relieved that I was wrong.

The Secret Keeper includes many details of the London Blitz that are perhaps unknown to many readers. The efforts to reach out to the Blitz orphans are touching in their tragedy, as are the descriptions of families emerging from their Andys" to find their homes destroyed. The modern narrator's voice, Laurel, is strong and intelligent, and she is the sole narrator for the modern portion of the tale as she tries to solve the mystery of what she saw as a child.

The Blitz includes the voice primarily of Dorothy/Dolly, though Jimmy's voice becomes dominant as his character's story grows and develops. And I cannot emphasize enough that the characters here are quirky and well-developed and not always likeable and oh-so-human.

This book is why I join book groups and why I am so grateful to our local library that hosts them." ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Moving back and forth from present day to pre-World War II England, this is the intriguing story of a terrible event witnessed by a teen aged girl. The occurrence was swept under the rug by her parents, and throughout her life, Laurel found herself wondering if she had really imagined it. At her dying mother's bedside, Laurel discovers a small detail that makes her question her mothers past and her own reality. She slowly uncovers the truth, but it eludes her until nearly the end. Twisting, full of intricate detail about life in London during the Blitz, this is a great story told in a thoroughly enticing way. ( )
  Dmtcer | Jun 4, 2016 |
The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton
Audio performance by Caroline Lee

4 stars (3 for the audio performance)

The story takes place in four time periods, beginning with a shocking crime witnessed by a teen-aged Laurel Nicholson in the mid 1960’s. In late middle age, Laurel returns to the scene of the crime and to her mother’s death bed. Laurel’s need for answers causes her to disinter her mother’s World War Two activities.

This is the third Kate Morton book that I’ve read. With each of them there were some points when I felt the story was moving so slowly that I considered leaving the book unfinished. The parallel contemporary and historical plotlines are so ploddingly slow that the eventual ‘reveal’ of the big secret is something that I have recognized for many pages. Knowing the secret and understanding the motivation are two different things; this is what truly makes the story. I do have to admire the intricate plotting of so many time periods and interrelated characters. In the end the puzzle pieces fit together well; a bit too well. From the lack of an arrest for the initial crime to the coincidental and neatly tied up threads of the ending, it is difficult to believe in this story.

It is fiction, after all, and I do like her characters. The Nicholson family; Laurel’s interaction with her sisters and especially her brother drew me into the story and kept me turning pages. The parts of the story set in World War Two, in the middle of the London Blitz, were full of action and completely held my interest. Although the major secret of the story was no surprise to me, there were a few twists in the plot that weren’t totally obvious.

I like Caroline Lee as a reader, but very little of this story takes place in Australia. Lee can’t seem to lose her Aussie accent. I had an easier time with the print version of the book. Reading speeds the story along and I was able to give the characters the voices and accents that felt right to me.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Look, at least you always know what you are getting into with Kate Morton. Even if The Secret Keeper was a little disappointing for me, you still know it will deliver its quota of family DRA-MA!, secrets, and twists, with nice historical details and solid enough writing. She is good at what she does, and like Dan Brown she has pretty well perfected her formula. Her books are all like the slightly more pulpy and less intellectual cousins of Possession. I dig them. This one wasn't quite as good as some others I have read; I prefer the creepier, more gothic settings of The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours.

The exigencies of wartime/Blitz London are great fodder for novelists (see; Exhibit 1: Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love; Exhibit 2: Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day; Exhibit 3: Kate Atkinson, Todd family saga; Exhibit 4: Graham Greene, The End of the Affair; Exhibit 5: Ian McEwen, Atonement; Exhibit 6: Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means; & etc.). I think I just appreciate Morton more when she reaches back a little further in history and lets her Wilkie Collins-tinted roots show ( )
  sansmerci | May 19, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elisabet W. MiddelthonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Selwa, friend, agent, champion
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Rural England, a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, a summer's day at the start of the nineteen sixties.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Fifty years after she witnessed a shocking crime at her family's farm in the English countryside, Laurel, now a successful London actress, returns to the farm and is overwhelmed by family secrets she has not thought of in decades.
Haiku summary
Dorothy, Jimmy
And Vivien - lives entwined
During London Blitz.
(passion4reading)

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(see all 2 descriptions)

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy's ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds--Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy--who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. "The Secret Keeper" explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told--in Morton's signature style--against a backdrop of events that changed the world.… (more)

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