The Secret Keeper
by Atria Books
(Simon & Schuster imprint),
on October 16th 2012
& Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
THIS BOOK COUNTS FOR THE FOLLOWING READING CHALLENGES
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
Let’s start with a book recipe today.
Our main ingredients are:
2 countries, let’s say: Australia and England
1 family, with 2 or 3 generations of women with strong characters
family secrets and memories
important spices: family ties, friendship, love
a touch of murder, mystery, and romance.
Best cooked in layers, be sure to alternate between each of the following layers:
1 layer during WWII
another layer later, the 60s if you wish
and a later one, in the 21st century.
This will add an exquisite touch of surprise and suspense, as your reading taste will have to adjust continuously to different experiences.
The baking time depends on your reading speed, the best being to just shut the door and stop all over activity until you have swallowed up the whole delicious dish.
How should you call it, by the way? I’ll call it Surprise à la Morton!
If you have already read The Forgotten Garden, you may think I’m talking about that book. I’m not. And what’s really uniquely and geniously unbelievable with Kate Morton, is that she manages to use again all these ingredients, cook them in the same way, and offer you a very different book: The Secret Keeper. What is common to them is that it is fabulously good, and I suggest you drop everything, go and get it.
Laurel, a teenager, sees one day her mother Dorothy do something totally unexpected. Only near the end of her mother’s life will she, and the reader with her, understands what she did and why.
There are lots of twists and turns in this story, until the very end. I had to reread some lines near the end, thinking I had read them wrong, and then the wow of: how did Morton do that? I didn’t see it coming.
The historical novel lovers will enjoy the background of the second world war in England, as several characters are actively helping in canteens and hospitals.
Morton has a gift at describing emotions and characters, whether they are children or mature adults. Her writing goes in depth while always flowing and drawing you irresistibly along.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love. During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother. Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past. Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world. [synopsis by the publisher].
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.
Kate Morton’s books have been published in 31 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog (know The House of Riverton) won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards. Was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008. Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008.
Visit Kate Morton’s official page.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
WHICH MORTON’S BOOK DO YOU PREFER? WHY?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN A COMMENT PLEASE
COME AND JOIN ME IN A READ-ALONG OF
THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON
BY KATE MORTON
I love your recipe! A great way to present the book. I’ve got an (e)copy of this book too which I will read this month. Sounds like I’m in for a treat.
thanks. I thought it deserved a special treatment!
I will definitely be reading this as soon as possible! I think of The Forgotten Garden as my favorite, but I think it was because I read it first. I loved her two other books also. I’m really into family history, so that combined with the mystery and historical fiction makes it my favorite kind of read. 🙂 I’m so glad to find out you liked it!
yes, it’s a fantastic book
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I can’t wait!!! You’re right, she does use the same ingredients in her stories, but they are always wonderful.
That’s really an art! I’m thinking of another writer who does stuff on the Boleyns, after you read one they are all the same. I won’t name her here… But a gifted author can pull it out with brio
A book recipe! Very fun way to start your book review with 🙂 Glad to hear that it was a very good read. I’ve still got it lined up, can’t wait to get to it!
Thanks! When a book is so good, it gives me impetus to be more creative.
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Excellent review Emma! I loved The Forgotten Garden so looking forward to finding time for Morton’s latest.
Thanks. Yes, you will devour it
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Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how much you enjoyed this book. I feel like we read a completely different book! This is the review I wanted to write about a new Kate Morton! My love of The Distant Hours leaves me with nothing but goodwill for her though…maybe I wasn’t it the right frame of mind to appreciate it properly?
I have experienced the same thing with other authors too. Actually, I’m preparing The House At Riverton for my read-along, and I find it on the slow side so far. Then I will finally read The Distant Hours, so I guess it will be a top treat – I know I almost read all of them in the wrong order, lol
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How fun! It’s true that though all of her books have these similar elements and even similar plots of family secrets, each execution is original. I guess it proves that there are an infinite number of possible scenes in a human drama! 🙂
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It seems great. I Wonder if I can read it in English. Is it very difficult ?
I don’t think it is, but I was an English teacher and have been living in the US for 15 years
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