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The Secret Keeper: A Novel by Kate Morton
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The Secret Keeper: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Kate Morton

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1,1711116,900 (4.09)64
Member:klpm
Title:The Secret Keeper: A Novel
Authors:Kate Morton
Info:Atria Books (2012), Edition: First American Edition, Hardcover, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, England, mystery, London, war, family

Work details

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

2012 (9) 2013 (14) ARC (12) Australia (15) Australian (7) australian author (7) Blitz (6) book club (11) contemporary fiction (8) ebook (16) England (58) family (32) family secrets (17) fiction (107) historical (12) historical fiction (84) Kindle (10) London (17) murder (7) mystery (62) novel (7) own (9) read (12) read in 2012 (14) read in 2013 (14) romance (11) secrets (26) to-read (100) wishlist (8) WWII (70)
  1. 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.
  2. 50
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (thebooky)
    thebooky: gothic in style
  3. 20
    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.
  4. 10
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (pdebolt)
    pdebolt: Similar in tone and intricacies of their mysteries.
  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 64 mentions

English (107)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
My work book club is reading this book for May 2014. I've read all of Kate Morton's other books and they are starting to seem cut from the same cloth. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book but I would like something a little different. Maybe she could finally set a book in Australia where she lives.

In this book famous actress Laurel Nicolson decides to find out what caused her mother to plunge a cake knife into a man who turned up at their farmhouse 50 years ago, killing him instantly. Her mother is still alive but living out her last days in a hospital and she either isn't able or isn't willing to answer questions. Laurel's siblings don't even know about the incident because they were all away from the house and the entire matter was hushed up. There are a few clues and they lead back to London during the Blitz. Using Google and archives and old-fashioned foot work Laurel discovers more and more about her mother's past.

The story is well-written but a few things bothered me. For one thing, neither her mother nor father came from a farming background but they seem to have managed to operate a farm that they bought on a whim. For another, Laurel's mother was hardly questioned and certainly not charged over the death. Even in rural England I don't think a death (of a man who was a famous writer) would have been brushed aside so easily. Ah well, those quibbles aside the story is interesting and compelling. ( )
  gypsysmom | May 8, 2014 |
I am normally a Kate Morton fan but I found this one bogged down in detail that became downright tedious at times.This one wasn't for me. ( )
1 vote Iudita | Apr 18, 2014 |
The story begins with Laurel Nicolson hidden in a tree-house witnessing her mother stabbing a stranger who has wandered onto their farm and greeted her mother. Laura keeps the facts of the greeting secret from the police, her father, and siblings and supports her mother Dorothy’s claim that she was attacked. Much later, when her mother is taken gravely ill Laura begins to investigate her mother’s early life. The novel shifts from Dorothy/Dolly’s upbringing early life during the Blitz and Laurel’s investigation. For me, this spoiled the book as it was too formulaic and the information became repetitive. The book was excellent in the telling of Dorothy’s story and her relationship with Vivian, Jimmy and elderly Lady Gwendolyn who Dolly works for as a companion, and how these relationships lead to the stabbing decades later. ( )
  CarterPJ | Apr 15, 2014 |
Listened to this on audio which colors one's experience with the story. I've enjoyed all Kate Morton books--it doesn't take long before I can picture the character, the scene, the setting... Good plot twist too. ( )
  obedah | Mar 26, 2014 |
Oh my goodness, where do I begin? I LOVED this book! Now, to be fair, one of my favorite novels is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton so chances were good that I would like her newest novel. I was so certain that this would be true, though. I’ve heard from a few people that loved The Forgotten Garden nearly as much as I did that they just did not like her first novel, House at Riverton. So, when I saw that The Secret Keeper was offered as an advanced reader copy to reviewers, I accepted it with reservation. I told myself that I would read it with an open mind (all the while being afraid that Kate Morton was a “one hit wonder” with The Forgotten Garden).

Well, I’ve just read the last words within the last few minutes and I have decided that Kate Morton is one of the masters of stories that jump between different time periods and characters (is there an official name for this? I’ve heard a few: dual story lines, the “two nows structure”, etc.). I love stories like this, maybe because as a history major, I love to see how history affects our present lives and stories.

Anyways, back to my review…have I mentioned that I LOVED this story? It is beautiful and it is sad…it is about second chances and love and mystery. I couldn’t put it down. I had so many ideas on how the story would play out. In the end, I was happy with how Kate concluded the novel. She tied everything together nicely without seemed rushed about it or leaving loose ends.

I’ve read a few poorly written books lately (some I’m even able to finish) so it’s so refreshing to read something like The Secret Keeper. ( )
1 vote jsamaha | Mar 14, 2014 |
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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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