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The Secret Keeper

by Kate Morton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6052043,838 (4.08)151
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)
  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 151 mentions

English (196)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (204)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
Kate Morton is a new author I have started reading. She writes great chracters and builds in unexpected twists in the story. One device which I like is the movement between characters in the past and characters in the present, who are linked in some way. Almost unputdownable - I read this in one day ( admittedly on holidays so had not much else on) ( )
  SashiG | Jul 2, 2020 |
Loved it. I solved it, I didn't, I solved it, I didn't... loved it. lol ( )
  nwieme | Mar 19, 2020 |
As with all the Kate Morton novels, I fell in love with the stories and the emotions of all of her characters. They keep me on my toes trying to figure out the ending before the last couple of chapters. I can't wait for more from this author. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
Synopsis: As a teenager, Laurel witnesses her mother murder a man. Years later, as her mother is suffering from dementia, Laurel tries to find out the truth about the murder.

My rating:


This book had an intriguing premise and an interesting plot but I felt like this book was unnecessarily long. I felt the pacing was off and we spent so much time hanging out and developing characters but there just wasn't much action or the feeling of forward movement until near the end.

I did love the author's voice and style. The prose was lovely and enjoyable to read.

There were many characters (maybe too many for me)Laurel and her siblings, Dorothy, her best friend Vivian, Henry (Vivian's husband), Jimmy (Dorothy's boyfriend) and several other characters in both the past and present including employers and distant family members. The book takes place in multiple timelines which was, at times, difficult for me to follow. I did not connect as well with the characters in the present as those in the past. I didn't feel like I got to know Laurel and her siblings very well. I found the large cast and the jumping timelines made the book difficult to follow at times but I was listening to the audiobook and don't know if that would have been different if I was reading a physical copy.

I did guess what was going on near the midway point of the novel so I wasn't shocked by the end (which might have made me more appreciative of the rather long journey to get there).

I can see why many people find this book appealing though it just wasn't quite a match for me. I have heard it compared to the Thirteenth tale (which I also didn't love) so I think if you enjoy books like the Thirteenth Tale this book may be right up your alleyway. It wasn't a bad book but it missed the mark for me. ( )
  authorjanebnight | Oct 4, 2019 |
Beautiful story of love and how a secret changed the lives of everyone involved. As always with Morton's stories, the elegant prose and perfect details engage the reader into a 'you are there' experience. Enchanting. ( )
  JoniMFisher | Sep 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.

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