Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton

Title: The Secret Keeper
Author: Kate Morton
Paperback: 463 pages (ARC version)
Publisher: Atria Books
Published date: October 2012
FTC: Received from Atria as ARC

This is my first book of 2013 and wow, I wished I had read it right when I received it.  I loved this book.  I kept thinking that an almost 500 page book would take me forever to read.  Nope.  Blew right through this one.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

1961 England. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.

Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.

The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths some people go to fulfill them, and the strange consequences they sometimes have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers and schemers, play-acting and deception told against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

My thoughts:

This is the type of book I was waiting for.  I was in a bit of post holiday reading slump and this was the perfect book to jump start me again.

The book starts out in the 1960 rural England where Laurel witnesses a crime.  I was a little nervous about the vagueness of the crime but don't worry.  Fifty years later, present day-ish and Laurel is a fairly famous actress.  Her mother is in the hospital and doesn't have too much longer to live.  Laurel begins to wonder about that day back in the sixties: what really happened, what she kept as a secret, and what her mother's secret is.  Lots of secrets.

The best part of the book is that it isn't linear at all and is narrated by multiple characters -- Dorothy in the 1940's during the London Blitz, Dorothy's early paramour Jimmy who was a war photographer, and Vivian, the mysterious woman in a photograph that Laurel uncovers.  Through these characters eyes and their stories, the mystery starts to unravel and secrets start leaking out.

The way the book is written makes it so hard to put down or stop for any amount of time.  I just HAD to know what really happened.  And then the ending!!!!!!!!

Please comment (and say SPOILERS!) or email if you've read this book and want to discuss the ending or any part of the book.  If you've read it, did you love it?  Did you uncover any of the secrets first?

More books from Kate Morton:

I think that I'm going to collect Kate Morton books.  I read and reviewed and own The House at Riverton.  I have hardback version but I love the paperback cover:

I also have an ARC of The Distant Hours - I'll have to buy the paperback though since my ARC really has no cover, it's just blue:

I've also snagged a copy of The Forgotten Garden at a library book sale.  Again I have a different cover but love this version more:

Funny side note: 
As I was asking my husband to grab my copy of The Secret Keeper while he was upstairs in our house, he yelled down that I should have 50 cats.  What?  Apparently ol' hubby thinks it looks like a cat lady book.  Which is actually funny because he loves cats.  What do you think?

Also Reviewed By:
Caribous Mom
A Reader's Journal
S. Krishna's Books
Reading the Past

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