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The Secret Keeper
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Rachel Hore. The Muralist. Terry Lynn Thomas. Cocoa Beach. Beatriz Williams. Anna Hope. The Necklace. The novel took off like a bottle rocket, selling over 40, copies and earning enthusiastic reader reviews. Soon the vice-president of HarperCollins came calling, offering Thomas a lucrative deal, the proverbial glass slipper. The Keeper of Secrets lets the captivating trajectory of this rare instrument dominate the action, shaping the fate of its owners and plunderers from Nazi Germany to Stalinist Russia, millenial London and urban America.
She has also managed to portray the horror of life in Dachau with pinpoint accuracy and emotional conviction. Although it suffers from the inescapable difficulty of elevating current drama to the intense excitement of wartime intrigue, The Keeper of Secrets merits its success. Listener NZ See more.
The shifting perspectives of various characters Laurel, her mother Dorothy, and a woman named Vivien from to to allow for a wide view of the plot across the many eras that impact the story. The merging of the different plotlines and timeliness works so well under this author's capable hands. I did not want to put this down to eat, to sleep, or anything. It's hard to write this review because the reveal and payout are so rewarding, and I don't want go give anything - ANYTHING - away that might spoil the deft authorial sleight of hand that Morton has going.
I had high hopes going into reading The Secret Keeper , and if anything, this book exceeded any and all expectations I had for it. Morton's obvious and immense talent for prose, for setting, and for crafting such realistic, concrete characters to operate upon the page - alive in all their wishes, hopes, pasts, flaws, and mistakes - marks her as one of the best authors I have ever had the pleasure to read.
With twists and turns and huge reveals that I never predicted and never once came off as hackneyed, this is an author that continually proves she knows how to write a story, as well as a truly mystifying mystery.
An impressive storyteller with talent across the board including an-all-too-rare talent for subtlety and foreshadowing, her latest novel is heavy on detail, inner observations, and contemplation, but is never slow or boring. Themes of unexpected consequences, and desire are explored with caution and care, further adding to the complicated plot of the novel. With one of the top three best endings I've ever had the surprise of reading, The Secret Keeper is thoroughly satisfying and totally unpredictable. Kate Morton is amazing. I am a huge fan, and I won't let too much time go before I dig into the only novel of hers I've yet to read - The House at Riverton.
Her style is uniquely her own, and her ability to create such detailed, well-characterized novels truly sets her above most other authors. Nuanced, emotionally involving, original, and completely wonderful, The Secret Keeper further proves that my fangirling extreme love for Kate Morton's novels is more than founded - it's necessary. I haven't had such a strong reaction to a novel in far too long; I cared intensely about the characters, I was caught up in every timeline shown.
This is an author who will be a favorite for a long, long time. I can only hope that a fifth novel is on the horizon for this immensely talented writer. View all 28 comments. Laurel has never gotten over seeing her mother stab and kill a man with their birthday cake knife! Tied with a red bow! I will never look at birthday cake knives the same way again when Laurel was 16 years old. Her mother never really explained the killing to Laurel, other than the explanation she gave the police which Laurel knows isn't true , and Laurel never asked her mother about it.
Now Laurel is much o 3. Now Laurel is much older, her mother is dying and something seems to be weighing on her mind, and Laurel decides she needs to Solve the Mystery of her mother's life and find out what caused the murder. There is a lot of jumping back and forth in time in this book, between and WWII-era times in England during the Blitz, with several scenes from other time periods thrown in for good measure, but it wasn't overly confusing.
I'm no WWII expert, but the historical scenes seemed well-researched and realistic. My main problem with this book was that I didn't really care a whole lot about Laurel and, worse yet, I gradually grew to actively dislike Dolly, the main character from the WWII scenes. This is a problem when a good chunk of the book is written from Dolly's perspective, if you're a reader who needs a main character that's sympathetic. About the time Dolly really started to irritate me, though, the historic story lines switched to other characters' POVs and so, with a sigh of relief, I soldiered on and finished the book.
When the mystery gets resolved in the end, it was both surprising even though I was keeping my eyes out for a twist and satisfying. A worthwhile read if you like historic fiction. View all 15 comments. Feb 13, Melisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction , favorites , mystery. Every single one of them.
The Secret Keeper is a story of love; of family and friendships and human nature and perseverance. Set during the Blitz of WWII and present day, the alternating timelines told from different characters are woven so beautifully and intricately to create the perfect story and mystery. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of hers. Her stories are so well-developed and beautiful, her characters stick with you for a very long time.
And the language. She writes so beautifully, you can't help but get swept away with her words. This was my last unread Kate Morton novel, I had it tucked away for a rainy day because I was sad at the thought of having no more of her stories to hear. At almost pages, some critics will say that it is too long winded, however I feel the opposite.
I feel that every word was necessary to create this incredible tale. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to learn what happened in the mystery. And it was SO worth it.
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Highly, highly recommend. View all 33 comments. May 29, Anne rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in-german. In the review of the last Kate Morton book I've read The Distant Hours , I had complained about how I couldn't get a good "grip" on the characters and felt rather underwhelmed by their character traits. This time I felt the complete opposite! I loved everyone involved in the story.
This book was even more character-driven than her others. Of course there were several events happening and I really liked the overall plot! Everyone just seemed so real I figured out a possible solution to the mystery about halfway through the novel, which at the end proved to be correct. However, Mrs. Morton has a way of writing that keeps up the suspense and makes you change your mind on what might happen all the time.
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I kept on guessing and guessing and came up with different solutions constantly. I often thought I had figured everything out, but then the story took a different direction than I expected and I changed my mind again. The writing style was consistent throughout; I never felt bored or like things were too drawn out. The changes between the different time periods were done very well and felt connected to each other. I don't really know what else I can say, besides that this was a wonderful book that brought me a huge amount of joy and kept me entertained the whole time I was reading it.
View all 9 comments. Going back and forth in timelines of , , and , this was a story full of dark secrets, ambition, jealousy, and forgiveness. I will write a proper review for this later. Oct 20, Jaline rated it it was amazing Shelves: xxcompleted. A family saga of broad scope, this was an interesting story. Part mystery, part adventure, part romance, part war story, and all heart.
This book is told in 4 parts — Laurel, Dolly, Vivien, and Dorothy. However, there is a crossover in characters throughout, and the time frame moves between the war years from through and the year of There are bits and pieces involving other characters and other time frames, but they exist only to set up or clarify these main characters and times.
The mystery begins when Laurel, the oldest of 4 girls and a boy, witnesses a shocking incident from her hiding spot in the family treehouse when she is sixteen years old. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and although earlier on I had accurately guessed at a fairly big reveal, I certainly did not know all the details or how it all came about. I would have liked to have discovered more about them without being present in their heads quite so much. On the other hand, in the last two parts I was treated to more subtlety and my mind could dwell on more possibilities.
This is not a one-afternoon type of read. You can expect to spend upwards of 10 hours solid reading altogether and that may not include time spent shedding a few tears and locating tissues , but it is worth the time spent. This is a well-plotted novel with many threads to it — and all of them are drawn into the overall tapestry by the end. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the combination of genres I mentioned in my second sentence and is willing to spend time getting to know a large cast of characters, their families, and how they weathered some tough times together.
View all 50 comments. Sep 29, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: 9-readseptember , 1-fiction , 4-historical-fiction. Ever since I read my first book by Kate Morton, I've been keen to read all her others. This month I went with The Secret Keeper since I tend to love books where there's a secret buried somewhere that must come out despite every intent to bury it years ago.
I was thrilled with the novel and can't wait to take on the next one. We see snapshots of their lives while Laurel tries to unrav Ever since I read my first book by Kate Morton, I've been keen to read all her others. We see snapshots of their lives while Laurel tries to unravel the mystery of a childhood incident where she's certain she saw her mother stab a stranger. We see the perspective of a few other characters who interacted with Dolly when she was younger, as well as Laurel's three sisters and one brother.
It all comes together in a surprising conclusion where readers are forced to decide how we feel about an event that can be seen from many different angles. Morton is the best at weaving together a story full of so many different side stories, you can never tell which will be the significant one to change the entire ending or plot arc to capture your shock. As this one moved along, I enjoyed the lyrical prose, tense dialog, well-drawn characters, and thrilling descriptions. It was good, but that shock factor didn't emerge as powerfully as I'd hoped. A few chapters later, in the most unusual place, I thought I saw an error.
I re-read the passage twice, then realized -- Oh, here's that crazy twist! And what a fantastic one it was. I would love to give it 5 stars, and it's close, but there were a few moments of repetition and slowness that held me back. By no means did it make me want to put it down and wait days before reading again.
It just didn't force me to stay up super late Overall, the story is very enthralling on many levels. You've got a backdrop of war, then modern social media times. You've got a mother who might or might not be lying or be a killer. As you read the historical portions, you can't decide which of two girls is the one to believe.
It keeps you going to the point you almost think they're both lying, but which is the most pertinent among all the confusion? Above all the plot and story, the settings are among the most gorgeous and captivating as any I've ever read before. Morton can describe the simplest things in the most complex terms, but it still makes me yearn for more.
I never think "ugh, she's completely overdone it," but there are times when I would be okay with a few less words if it's not ultimately important to the detail of the story. If you've never read her work, this is a good one, but I'd start with The Forgotten Garden then come to this one. I've two more left to read of hers, then I'll probably have to wait a year for the next to be published. Oh well View all 14 comments.
Sep 04, Yianna Yiannacou rated it it was amazing. Wow, just wow. Kate Morton has done it again. This book kept me hooked the entire time. She has a way with words that enthralls you and keeps you wanting more and more. This book is about a young woman named Laurel and she wants to figure out her mothers past.
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After seeing a horrific scene when she was younger, and her mother now on her death bed, she finds it more important that she figures out why her mother did what she did to protect her family. There were so many twist and turns and even mo Wow, just wow. There were so many twist and turns and even more questions that I needed answered.
I love how Kate brings us into the past from her mothers perspective as well, so this book lets you look deep into both characters motives. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great family history mystery. These books are such an easy read that you will finish before you even realize it! Oct 04, Margitte rated it it was amazing Shelves: british-author , family-sagas , reviewed , historical-fiction , favorites , chicken-soup-for-the-soul-read , british-novels , drama , wwii. The plot - a huge surprise. The characters - endearing. The ending - prima. The mystery - thrilling!
As historical fiction - as atmospheric as it can get, with an ambiance of mystery and a light thriller touch. Five stars indeed, although some dragging took place, the narrative jumped around, resulting in some confusion, and the ending just would not come. But when it did, it was mind-blowing. What an intriguing journey it was for the reader. The clues were all there, and all missed. It left me thrilled to be wrong! In the end I wanted to rate it five stars for the way this book made me feel. One of the best books I have read so far this year.
View all 19 comments. Oct 07, Karen rated it really liked it. Everything she knows about her mother and her family is turned upside down. Her mother is celebrating her 90th birthday and Laurel is searching for answers to family secrets from so long ago. This story was a real slow burner that took me quite a while to feel engaged in. I did enjoy it even though I never really felt connected to the characters. It seemed like I was watching from the outside rather than feeling the empathy I wanted, but the last third of the book definitely kept me reading.
The Keeper Of Secrets: A Novel
When I began, I only read a chapter or two each time and it was difficult to keep the facts straight when I picked the book up again. There is a lot going on in this story and even minor details sometimes turn out to be significant later on. So my advice—set aside a chunk of time for reading and the story will flow much better. In regards to historical fiction, I felt the author did her homework about London during the blitz.
I really appreciated understanding this event in history a little better. Morton has such a talent of being able to immerse the reader in the setting and make it feel completely authentic especially as it was shown to us through the eyes, heart, and lenses of Jimmy Metcalfe. I also liked the fact that at the beginning of the book we form opinions about the characters and as the story progresses, new layers are peeled away and our whole perspective changes and things are not what they seemed.
These new revelations kept me interested and made the characters much more human and flawed. We all make mistakes and I liked how the story makes you contemplate how you might react in such difficult circumstances. I began formulating my own ideas about how it would come together, but I was wrong…Again! Kate Morton knows people and how to write them. I was captured once again by the way she describes feelings about family—the little nuances that we can all relate tothe warmth and security of belonging and being loved.
Was it a happy ending? View all 5 comments. Nov 04, Jackie rated it it was ok. I so looked forward to this book - Ms. Morton has been one of my favorite authors. Alas, this was a bit of a disappointment. Even though it is difficult for me to be succinct, I shall try. This was hard for me to "get into".
It seemed to take forever for things to develop, making me understand those reviewers who gave up early on.
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Even though the bulk of the plot took place in the early 's, the set up was for Laurel and her siblings to figure out the mystery from I would, perhaps, have enjoyed fewer characters in the book, but more fully developed characters. It was difficult for me to feel much sympathy or concern for most of the characters. There was little redeeming about any of them, particularly Dolly.