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Sunday, November 24, 2013

[The Secret Keeper] Memorable and fascinating tale of love and yearning with superb twists

Kate Morton has written another winner with wonderful characters, great narrative and twists and turns you won't see coming. I've read all four books written by Kate Morton, and the Forgotten Garden was my favourite  before I read this latest one, The Secret Keeper. 
She always surprises me. I enjoyed the history that the author brings to life along with very interesting characters, and relationships often between a mother and a daughter. 

The Secret Keeper is an enjoyable story full of heart, love, tragedy, abuse, and has a delightfully unexpected ending. It kept me guessing the whole time. During a picnic at her family's farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicholson witnesses a murder committed by her perfect and beautiful mother. That crime challenges everything she knows about her beloved mother, Dorothy. 
Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful actress, but has never forgotten  the tragic events of that summer. A family gathering to celebrate her mother's ninetieth birthday becomes the occasion for the actress to finally find the answers to questions that had been haunting her and her family for decades.

The plot alternates between 1940 and 2011 and and reveals little by little about Dorothy's love for the photographer, Jimmy, her friendship with the rich and glamorous Vivien. The book gets off to a very slow start. But all is redeemed in the fascinating twist at the end, which I did not see coming! 

Apart from Laurel, it involves three people: Dorothy (Laurel’s mother), Jimmy (Dorothy’s fiance) and Vivien.  The mystery and intrigue levels are significant because, despite the facts you have, you still don’t know what really is going on and the end is an unexpected turn that you could not possibly have predicted. The ending is absolutely superb!

The writing technique of Kate Morton, with its frequent chronological shifts between the past and present day, matches the emotional intensity of her stories, especially her latest novel, The Secret Keeper. Well, I thought the Secret Keeper was a little slow through the middle but the end was well worth the wait! The beauty of the Kate Morton's novels are that you honestly never get the whole story until the absolute end, especially for the Secret Keeper.

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk through Laurel's life and the flashbacks to her mother's life. Well, I'd have enjoyed it even more if it moved a little faster, though.

The Secret Keeper


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