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The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Friday, November 9, 2012
The Secret Keeper

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.

Goodreads Summary

Reading about a teen close to my generation - never interests me as much as characters from earlier time periods.  Laurel Nicolson is sixteen, tired of her family, dreaming of a boy, and hiding out in a treehouse.  I almost didn’t keep reading; a typical girl’s drama at that age doesn’t interest me.  Luckily, I kept reading and heard about the murder, about the dramatic, self-centered girl that Dorothy (Laurel’s mother) used to be.  I like Laurel so much better when she is an older character, a famous British actress.  The care, concern, humor, and love that all three sisters show for their mother draws you into their circle.
As their mother’s life nears its end, the mystery of their mother’s life sends Laurel sleuthing into her past, into a time when England is being bombarded by German bombs.  It’s fascinating (want to read about her, but want to shake her too) to read about Dolly (Dorothy), a self-centered, dreamer who imagines a much more interesting, important life than she actually leads.  Dolly’s boyfriend, Jimmy, seems so wonderful – honest, caring, moral - that you want to shake him too – for putting up with Dolly.  Vivien Jenkins is a mystery woman, but the reason she often disappears for days isn’t hard to figure out.  “Dorothy’s” son’s belief in his mother’s goodness eases your heart when you start to think the worst of her.  The ending was wonderful…and totally unexpected for me.  I saw a write-up from another reviewer who thought Morton’s writing was too transparent; I never saw the ending coming.  Total surprise!

Four and a Half Stars

*Reviewed by Colleen*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Unknown said...:

    I love Kate Morton's books, I like to read it on those lazy quiet days. I'll be sure to pick this up, I think our library has this.

    Happy Weekend!