Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

5 Star

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.

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Kathryn - 5 Star

I had a little delay in getting really engrossed into this story- the Netgalley review copy's teeny tiny print involved a lot of squinting until I got used to the size of type- but I persevered and was rewarded with the absolutely gripping characters and plot of this story.

I’d never read a Kate Morton novel before and although I’d heard great reviews I’m not generally the first to pick up a mystery or thriller.  However, I have now been converted to a firm Morton fan.  The fact that I didn’t even really know the style of writing probably served me well- I had absolutely no idea what might be coming next and was surprised at every twist and turn. I felt almost like it was my first time on a roller coaster and had no idea what was coming around the next bend.  I forgot all about the tiny type. 

The plot itself cannot really be discussed I’m afraid-as doing so would probably ruin the read.  I can however say that I was impressed with each character and Laurel as a teenager and even as an adult was appealing on many levels.  I found her mother so intriguing that I kept reading (long past when I should have turned out the light) to get to the next chapter about her past. I loved that there was such a warm bond between Dorothy and her children- you could feel it seeping into their lives despite Dorothy being unable to communicate with them anymore.  I wished even that there had been more dialogue in the past between them and even that their father had had more of a chance to appear.  Perhaps, though, this might have ruined the intrigue of the overall plot.

My only tiny complaint was I felt we may not have necessarily needed a couple of Laurel’s sisters given that the past and present plot was quite complicated enough- there were a lot of people to keep track of and names that would become intertwined and I didn’t feel that they had much of a role. 

Next Morton novel I will be prepared for the twists and turns! 

Thank you to Atria Books for our review copy! 

Connect with Kate Morton here:

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