The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
|January 19, 2013||Posted by Christa McGrath under Family Saga, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literature, Mystery, Suspense, Uncategorized|
Published by Atria Books
Reviewed by Christa McGrath
I became a fan of Kate Morton after reading “The House at Riverton” in 2006. She has since released 3 other books, and I was excited to get my hands on her latest, “The Secret Keeper”, when it was released in fall of 2012. I cracked open the cover and read the first 3 chapters before setting it aside for a 6 week hiatus. Then one stormy, blustering Newfoundland day I decided to revisit Kate Morton and her story about the Secret Keeper. With a cup of hot tea and warm blanket in hand, I snuggled in for my second seating. This one went much better than my first as I was introduced to Dorothy, Vivian, and Jimmy and pulled into the mystery surrounding each of them.
A now aging Dorothy is on her death bed. This tragic life event causes her eldest daughter, Laurel (one of five children), to ponder about a time many years ago when a strange man was killed on her family farm at the hands of her own mother. This crime haunted Laurel for most of her life but she had never been able to confront her mother about this well-kept family secret. Realizing time is running out, she enlists the help of her brother and the two begin to investigate Dorothy’s secret past—a past Laurel believes is key to unlocking the truth so carefully hidden.
And so Morton takes us on a journey back in time to the war years of the 40’s and the free-spirited years of the 60’s. I found these visits back in time, particularly to the war-era, the most riveting. The reader learns how the lives of Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy intersect. I found myself in a love/hate relationship with Dorothy’s free spirit, Jimmy’s kind-heartedness, and Vivien’s abiding strength. Morton does a fantastic job bringing these characters to life–christening them with all the strengths and flaws found in so many of us. There are other interesting characters too and they play an important role in the evolution of Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy. Their presence makes the story real; and makes the reader feel like a part of the supporting cast. Just when you think Laurel is close to learning the truth, the plot thickens and Morton introduces new twists and turns that have you turning the pages as quick as possible to discover what really happened on that faithful day on the farm when Laurel was just 16 years of age.
While I may have been slow getting into this book, I certainly gained momentum with each passing chapter. It has an all-engrossing storyline full of mystery, deception, passion, and suspense. Readers will be stunned by the events that finally unfold. I was sure I had it figured out but boy did I have it wrong once I got to the final pages. If you feel so obliged to pick up a copy of the “Secret Keeper”, I encourage you to pay attention to all the nuances and intricacies found within—Morton has a way with words and dropping (what might not seem important) hints along the way. This one is a “keeper”.
To find our more about The Secret Keeper and to read the first chapter click here.