Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 1st November 2012 (1st published 9th Oct)
Pages: 592
Book Source: Allen & Unwin (ARC) & Edelweiss

Synopsis: 1961: On a sweltering summer's day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can't wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.

2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds - Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy - who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined.
Shifting between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present, The Secret Keeper is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, theatre and thievery, murder and enduring love.

My Thoughts:
I've been a fan of Australian author Kate Morton since reading (and adoring) The Forgotten Garden and I was super excited to get my hands on a copy of her latest novel. A few chapters in I confess I struggled to stay focused as the narrative wandered off on what seemed like tangent after tangent. This isn't a book to read in small snippets, if you can invest a chunk of time to thoroughly immerse yourself in the story and just appreciate the meandering style I'd almost guarantee you'll be captivated.

In 1961 Laurel witnesses a shocking event, fast forward to 2011 and Laurel and her siblings are gathered for their mother Dorothy's last days and Laurel begins a search for answers to the mystery surrounding her mother's past and that traumatic event. It's a trek that takes readers from 1938 to the present day. 

Dorothy, Jimmy and Vivien are the focus of the story in London during the Blitz, their fate is intricately entwined, they're intriguing characters and their story completely absorbing, I couldn't imagine how the threads would tie together and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out. 

The time frames merge seamlessly and the multi-faceted plot lines are covered with intimate subtlety and elaborate detail (how is that even possible??) making this a truly special read. 

So, guess what? Despite my early misgivings I wholeheartedly recommend The Secret Keeper if you love a complex tale of secrets and discovery.

Visit Kate Morton's website to find out more about this talented author and her work.



UK cover                               US cover


23 comments:

  1. This cover is amazing and I love the sound of this book. This year I haven't read a lot of histrocal fiction books, but this book is going on the tbr list. I would love to watch a bbc version of this book. :)

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    1. All the covers are gorgeous aren't they Nina. and I think you're right this would make great tv viewing :)

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  2. This sounds pretty good!! I will need to add this to my list!! Thanks for the honest review!!!

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  3. I just stated this book and can't wait to get lost in the story....I'm a big fan of Kate Morton and she hasn't disappointed me yet! Glad you enjoyed it so much.

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  4. The cover is awesome! I know it was the blitz but I just that period in time, with the fashions and everything.
    Story sounds quite good, and some books just need to be read in chunks.

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  5. I really should try a book by her :) She is good with secrets

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    1. she is one of the best with secrets :)

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  6. I'm about half way through - loving it so far!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. I'll be keeping an eye out for your review Shelleyrae!

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  7. I've heard a lot of interesting things about the author and this book sounds pretty good. Also loving the cover! Anyway great review!

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  8. I was a bit disappointed by this author's last book but that hasn't stopped me from being excited by the prospect of reading this one!

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  9. I keep wanting to read her books, but others keep getting in the way. I really do want to get this or another of her books soon.

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  10. Some books really are better read all at once. Too bad that isn't happening for me right now!

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  11. Hi I just stumbled across your blog and I see that we have similar reading tastes, so I am now your newest follower. I would love for you to stop by my blog and check it out. I really hope to see you there and happy reading!

    Kimberlee
    http://girllostinabook.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Kimberlee, I'll be by your blog soon :)

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  12. I really enjoyed it as well Sheree, its the first of hers I have read and plan to read more

    Wishing you a great reading week

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. Well I loved The Forgotten Garden so that would be my recommend without hesitation but I'm thinking I'll give The Distant Hours a go next :)

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  13. I really should stop saying "I should read one of her books on day" and just do it. Not sure this is the one to cut my teeth on though, any suggestions on a good one to start with?

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    1. Read The Forgotten Garden Caspette, it was absolutely wonderful, I'll send u a link to my review :)

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  14. Yay!! So glad you stayed with it and that it panned out to be a terrific read. I have all of her books but have I read one yet??? I will though!!! :D

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    1. Can't believe you have all her books, now I'll be nagging you til you read one Staci LOL

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  15. Kate Morton is an amazing writer. I love all her books and this one did not disappoint. This was a wonderful story about secrets in the past and second chances.

    Micky Johnson (Dallas SEO)

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