Review: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Description (from publisher):

The new novel from the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours is a spellbinding mix of mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.

During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover 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, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told–in Morton’s signature style–against a backdrop of events that changed the world.”

My thoughts:

         I now know why Kate Morton fans are enthralled by her novels. What a powerful author who weaves a story containing the present and the past and blends it all together to create a emotional novel. A beautiful plot, fabulous characters and a story that sucks you in and leaves you stunned by Morton’s sheer brilliance. I haven’t read Kate Morton before. I have The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours sitting on my bookshelf here just begging to be read. The publisher offered me this one to read in exchange for a review and because I’ve heard how awesome Kate Morton is, I decided to give this one a shot. I was not disappointed. It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to stay up to read a book because I just couldn’t put it down. I had to keep reading to see what happened or it was going to drive me nuts.

        Through Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy’s stories, we get to go through some devastating times in their lives that begin in their childhoods and carry on throughout the Blitz in London during World War II. The uncertainty of life through a war carries heavily in this novel and you really get the sense of how people lived every day as if it were their last. Nothing was guaranteed and Morton really gives you the feeling of being immersed in a world where nothing was certain, where everything was determined by the war. I felt that I was living though the war right with the characters. I could just get the sense of bombs being dropped and the stench of fires burning and the chaos as people watched everything they had destroyed in the blink of an eye. Morton has the ability to paint a beautiful scene through a tragic time in history.

        I have to say that the suspense in this novel was killing me. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see what had happened to change the course of these characters’ lives. I literally was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout this whole novel and eating it right up. I read some reviews where some readers felt like this wasn’t the best work of Morton’s. If this is her worse, then oh my, I can’t wait to read the others. In fact, if I didn’t have so many books to read, I would definitely be on a Kate Morton book reading kick. This book took me on an emotional ride and yes there were even some tears. It’s been quite some time since a book has moved me like this one has. Thank you Kate Morton for making a beautiful and touching story really come to life and for renewing the magic of reading by creating such a splendid novel.

Overall Rating: 5+

Title:  The Secret Keeper
Author:  Kate Morton
Series: N/A
Publisher:  Atria
Publication Date:  October 16, 2012
Pages:  496
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for my review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

15 thoughts on “Review: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

  1. Wow — are you in for a treat if this is your first Kate Morton book!! Run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore and get another one! I think most fans agree that The Forgotten Garden is her jewel in the crown, but I've loved them all. Have fun deciding which one to read next.


  2. That's what I've heard. I have the other three sitting on my shelf here and I just have to get to the point where I can sit down and read them. She is an amazing author.Kimberlee


  3. Today I watched a segment about Kate Morton on a breakfast tv show. She was promoting her new book The Secret Keeper and as luck would have it, I got your latest post on my google feed. I will give her book a go because of your review and the fact that she's a Queenslander, just like me.


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