The Secret Keeper: A Novel

by Kate Morton

Atria Books | October 16, 2012 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

The Secret Keeper: A Novel is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.
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.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: October 16, 2012

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 143916309X

ISBN - 13: 9781439163092

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page turner! I loved this book. I couldn't put it down and got so involved in the characters' lives. I was driving and actually missed a turnoff because I was thinking about the chapter I had just read. My favourite book by Kate Morton. She just keeps getting better and I can't wait for her next book!!
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The title tells the story, great read. This is a book where the title gives the story away – at least in the sense that there is a secret to be revealed. Kate Morton seems to have developed this style of writing, as many of her books do indeed have a secret which is revealed as we go back through history to find out about the characters in the novel. Again, characteristic of Morton, she has a lovely way of endearing the reader to the characters, particularly if they are elderly. Her descriptions usually show a tenderness and sensitivity that is really wonderful to read and see. So, the elements of this book that I liked were that the Secret Keeper quickly engaged the reader right from the beginning (which is definitely not the case for the Distant Hours – that I have tried and tried to read, but can’t get too far yet). The surprise beginning is just as great as the surprise ending. She engages the reader on another level in this book, because we are constantly trying to figure out what the story is and why the first chapter of the book took place. I like her descriptions of the characters – allowing us to visualize the character and understand them on a more multi-dimensional scale. And the ending is great. This book does not disappoint. I think some readers found the middle of the book to drag a bit, but I didn’t. I think there is something John Steinbeck-like in Morton’s writing of people. The story is important, but the characters are the appeal and the glue for the reader. Good job, Morton. I have read all of her books except the Distant Hours, and will go now and try that one again.
Date published: 2013-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! It was raining, cold and damp the day I started to read Kate Morton's latest book - The Secret Keeper. And the perfect day to snuggle in to my favourite chair and lose myself in Morton's absolutely wonderful storytelling. The prologue of The Secret Keeper is a show stopper it will hook you and the tale will keep you enthralled until you turn the last page. Early 1960's England. Sixteen year old Laurel lives an idyllic life with her beloved mother, father, her three sisters and brother in an isolated house in the countryside - until the day a stranger surprises their mother outside their home. Laurel, hidden in a treehouse, witnesses this meeting - and it's shocking outcome. And although life carries on afterwards, there's an unmistakable rift in the fabric of their lives. "There were moments, Laurel solemnly believed, in which a person reached a crossroads; when something happened, out of the blue to change the course of life's events." Fast forward to 2011. The siblings are called back to Greenacres Farm; their mother Dorothy is approaching her 90th birthday and her health is not good. Laurel sees these final days as her last opportunity to get answers from her mother as to what happened that day over fifty years ago. "Not about Ma. I mean that young woman. She was a different person back then, with a whole other life we know nothing about. Do you ever wonder about her, about what she wanted, how she felt about things - Laurel sneaked a glance at her sister - the sorts of secrets she kept? Morton again effectively uses her technique of past and present narratives to tell Dorothy's story. We meet her in 1941 as 'Dolly', a vivacious seventeen year old girl with dreams and ambitions. I found myself immersed in the past as Morton sets the scene and tone of wartime England perfectly. I was completely captured by Doll's life, drawn in and on tenter hooks to see what happened next. And just at a crucial point, the narrative jumps forward to the present day. Laurel is determined to piece together the truth from the cryptic sentences and words her mother murmurs. Between those and the contents of an attic trunk, she and her brother pursue the past. We, as readers, are of course privy to more as we follow Dolly back to the 1940's and the events that lead up to that fateful day outside the farmhouse. I was so conflicted about Dorothy/Dolly - the woman the siblings know is so far removed from the Dolly of the war years. Which incarnation is true? And then a third narrative from the past is added in the last bit of the book. And this is, of course, when I stopped looking at the clock, because there was no way I was going to bed without knowing the ending. Oh, the ending! Morton has done it in previous books - caught me unawares in the final pages. She's done it again in The Secret Keeper - the ending has a fantastic twist. I went back and re-read earlier passages with a different eye. Morton's writing is rich and atmospheric, with a bit of a gothic feel. The story builds slowly and deliciously, with layer upon layer peeled away as secrets are revealed over the course of 450 pages. Kate Morton has another bestseller on her hands with The Secret Keeper - and it's one you'll want to get your hands on! It releases today. Highly, highly recommended.
Date published: 2012-10-16

– More About This Product –

Kobo eBookThe Secret Keeper: A Novel

The Secret Keeper: A Novel

by Kate Morton

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: October 16, 2012

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 143916309X

ISBN - 13: 9781439163092

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

Kate Morton was born in South Australia in 1976. She earned a degree in speech and drama from Trinity College London, an English literature degree from the University of Queensland, and a master's degree focusing on tragedy in Victorian literature from the University of Queensland. She also completed a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program researching contemporary novels that marry elements of gothic and mystery fiction. She won the Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction Book of the Year in 2007 for her debut novel, The Shifting Fog, also known as The House at Riverton. Her other books include The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden, which won the Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction Book of the Year in 2009.