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The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

The Secret Keeper (edition 2012)

by Kate Morton, Caroline Lee (Reader)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,086None7,639 (4.09)56
Title:The Secret Keeper
Authors:Kate Morton
Other authors:Caroline Lee (Reader)
Info:Bolinda Audio (2012), Edition: MP3 Una, MP3 CD
Collections:Your library
Tags:Family, WWII, secrets, love, betrayal, redemption

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The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

2012 (9) 2013 (13) ARC (11) audio (5) Australia (12) Australian (7) book club (8) contemporary fiction (6) ebook (15) England (51) family (28) family secrets (14) fiction (99) historical (9) historical fiction (77) Kate Morton (6) Kindle (9) London (16) mystery (57) netgalley (6) novel (7) own (8) read (11) read in 2012 (14) read in 2013 (13) romance (11) secrets (24) to-read (85) wishlist (9) WWII (60)
  1. 50
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (thebooky)
    thebooky: gothic in style
  2. 50
    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. 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 56 mentions

English (106)  Spanish (4)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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 |
Even though I didn't quite make it to the halfway point, I realized that I was forcing myself to continue reading this, and when that happens I just have to stop. I was very curious to receive this from the publisher, since I very much did enjoy [b:The Forgotten Garden|3407877|The Forgotten Garden|Kate Morton|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327910234s/3407877.jpg|3448086], so I wanted to see what the new book was like.
Unfortunately, I could not finish the new title.
I found the different point of views to be disconcerting -- fairly early on it switches to the point of view of a character that, as far as I can tell, we never hear from again. What was the point? To show that the current main character was attractive? I felt that as soon as I got used to one character I was abruptly thrown to another. When I got to part four, and we skipped ahead just one week to tell the story from yet another point of view, I decided to give up.
It also seemed that the author was paid by the word (I know she was not, that was just my impression). It took paragraphs to describe things, and the pacing dragged as a result.
With all that said I think fans of WWII and Kate Morton in general will enjoy this title; unfortunately for me it just didn't click.
  | Mar 4, 2014 | edit |
I was fully one-third into this book and was almost convinced Morton was going to let me down. The story was moving kind of slow and just wasn't grabbing me. But of course I had to keep going. All of the wonderful reviews I'd read wouldn't allow me to give up. And from reading those reviews, I knew a twist was coming near the end. It wasn't until about halfway or maybe even further into the novel that the story really started pulling me in, and then it wouldn't let go.

The novel begins with teenager Laurel Nicolson witnessing a sudden and unexpected crime -- she views her mother quite out-of-the-blue stabbing a stranger who happens upon their farm homeland. This whole episode is never really resolved in Laurel's memory, but she goes on to live a fairly normal life as a successful actress. Not until her mother is on her deathbed do the past events begin to haunt her, and from that point she sets out to discover what really happened all those years ago. In classic Kate Morton style, the story shifts back and forth from past to present, and the reader gradually comes to know Dorothy (Laurel's mother) and the years she spent in London during the early years of World War 2. Here, the reader meets Jimmy and Vivian, and how the three of these characters intertwine, and eventually, how their relationship leads to the fateful murder several decades later that Laurel witnesses.

As with most of Morton's novels, this is a multi-layered story, which is what makes it so fantastic. And as alluded to above, I was on the edge of my seat near the end, trying to predict what the plot twist was going to be. Inevitably, I failed. Despite my attempts, it took me by surprise, but was constructed perfectly.

Despite the slow start and somewhat daunting length of this novel, this is one that the reader should definitely persevere through. It's worth it. ( )
  indygo88 | Mar 1, 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
First words
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.

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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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