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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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1,3681245,605 (4.07)83
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

  1. 60
    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. 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. 20
    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 83 mentions

English (120)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
Great book, subtle mystery right up to the very end. Loved every aspect of the story. ( )
  Donura1 | May 5, 2015 |
I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton, so I was looking forward to The Secret Keeper but felt let down by it. As usual, the plot moves between two time periods, but the story dragged as the characters were rather dull. Kate strongly signposted the 'secret' so the reader was left to ponder how the author would reveal this, rather than be avid to discover it.

I also found the daughter who suddenly needs to discover her mother's motives unbelievable. If she was that bothered she had had over 30 years to question her mother over a cup of coffee, but had never found the need.

Midway the story is interrupted to give the backstory of a supposedly minor character, and this was done in a very clumsy, jarring way.

And there was so much padding that I began to wonder if Kate was being paid by the word: a stranger finds a letter and posts it, and we are told that person's name, and the names of her family and what they did in the war, for no apparent reason at all.

In short, I liked the plot, but just felt the execution was hurried and the characters weren't developed enough for me to believe or care about them. ( )
  LARA335 | May 2, 2015 |
Whoever wrote the blurb on the back of The Secret Keeper, was not exaggerating. You will most definitely be surprised by all the twists and turns of this mystery. It is so multilayered that I often wondered how all of the different narrative threads converged...then about 30 pages from the end I started to suspect I had figured out the BIG reveal. In a book that was almost 500 pages long, this is quite the feat. Morton's characters are so vibrant that they fairly leap off of the page. It's separated into 4 different sections that focus on different characters and help to gradually fill in the details of the secret (hence the name) that has loomed large over Laurel's life since she was sixteen years old. Most of the story is focused on London during the Blitz of WWII and it's clear that the author did her research on the time period which further enriches the story. In fact, Kate Morton has earned herself a spot on my Favorite Authors List. (Also, I bought another one of her books that I'll be reviewing a little later this year.) ( )
  AliceaP | Apr 10, 2015 |
I liked the twists and turns of this story ( )
  LouieAndTheLizard | Feb 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

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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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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