Book Review: The Secret Keeper

by Elizabeth on February 4, 2013

Good morning! I hope you all had a fabulous Super Bowl Sunday! Check back this afternoon for my Super Bowl Party recap :-)

As a first time participant in PBFingers book club, I was really excited to read the book that was chosen, “The Secret Keeper.” I have read a few other of Kate Morton’s books and really enjoy the consistency of her writing style.

The book begins with a scene in 1961 with Laurel, a teenager, witnessing her mother kill a man with a knife during her brother’s birthday party. She was the only one who witnessed it. Just before she killed him, he said the words, “Hello Dorothy, it’s been a long time.” This sentence provides crucial insight, but Laurel leaves it out when she is questioned by investigators. It leads them to believe the man was harassing Dorothy, and she killed him out of self defense. Lives continues for over five decades after with no truth of the matter revealed.

By 2011, Laurel has become a prominent actress in Great Britain. Her family is gathered for her mother, Dorothy’s, ninetieth birthday. The horrific memory from her teenage years prompt Laurel and her younger brother Gerry to begin a search for the truth of what took place so many years prior. In her mother’s attic and London libraries, she pieces together the lives of her mother, a young photographer, Jimmy, whom her mother is in love with, and her friend, Vivien. With how tightly the threesome’s lives are intertwined, it seems that Laurel will never uncover the truth.

I found it to be a page turner, although it had a slow start. Eventually, I began looking forward to when Noah napped so I could read more. Kate Morton continued with her usual themes of deception, love, secrecy, and friendship. She has intricate character development, especially of the main characters who’s viewpoints form the storyline, Dorothy, Vivien, Jimmy, and Laurel which I really appreciated. The story jumps between the time periods of the Blitz in London during WWII, and present day, which I found hard to follow at first. The story unfolds in such a manner, the reader is convinced they know the outcome. At one point, Laurel finds a diary of a woman who wrote all about Dorothy and Vivien’s friendship and it seems the mystery has clear answers. I was pleasantly surprised by the shocking twist at the end, and was once again reminded why I think Kate Morton’s books are so intriguing. I would give the book a 4 out of 5 stars, because although it was wonderfully written, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to continue reading until about page 100. It’s definitely a good read, especially if you like mystery books with a little side of romance!

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