The Secret Keeper

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton

Kate Morton has earned a reputation as an expert gothic mystery writer. If you pick up one of her fat novels you know what you’re in for. So far I have loved each of her novels, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours and The House at Riverton, but I thought Morton might disappoint me this time. I made it about ¾ of the way through this novel and still didn’t know if I liked it. Needless to say I judged it too soon, I shouldn’t have doubted her.

A famous actress, Laurel, returns home to visit her ailing mother, Dorothy. As she reconnects with her sisters and explores her childhood home she can’t help but reminisce about some strange details from her childhood, particularly a violent event that happened when she was a teen. She begins to learn more about her parents’ history as she researches their lives during World War II.

The book switches between multiple points of view, Laurel, Dorothy, Dorothy’s boyfriend Jimmy and her friend Vivien. I loved this aspect of the book because it gives the reader a chance to get to know each character and to question the honesty of the narrative. I really loved the pieces of the story set during WWII. Though the middle was a bit slow for me the end was well worth the wait.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re a fan of Morton’s novels you can’t miss this one! If you’re new to her work I would check out The Forgotten Garden, my personal favorite. She’s a sure bet for anyone who loves a great gothic mystery.  

I read this for the R.I.P. Challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.


Bybee said...

Not sure about the Gothic aspect, but I like the idea of the WWII setting. I think I'll give Kate Morton a try!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Haven't gotten a chance to read this one, but do like this author --- sounds good.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I LOVE Kate Morton. Every time I listen to one of her books (and I do highly recommend the audios...they are all narrated by the same lovely narrator) I feel like I am falling in love. Each and every book I've felt that way. I think my favorite is The Forgotten Garden.

Unknown said...

I haven't read anything by Kate Morton yet but I have an arc of this book on my shelf. Maybe I'll read Forgotten Garden first and then this one. I like the sound of this book and the many different viewpoints we get. It sounds really interesting. I've read a lot of great thinks about Morton's books so I am looking forward to reading them.

I really enjoyed this post!

Anonymous said...

yes, that's a great one!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I have one of her books on my shelf but I can't remember which one! Maybe The Distant Hours. I haven't read it yet because it's a bit chunky but I really should get to it. I love multiple narrators as well--I recently read Mudbound with multiple narrators and it adds such a richness to the book hearing the different perspectives. Glad this one worked in the end!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bybee - I mean gothic as in gothic mystery, like Rebecca and The Thirteenth Tale, not anything creepy.

Diane - I had to wait to read it until I got a copy on Paperbackswap.

Sandy - I'm thinking I'll reread The Forgotten Garden soon as an audio now that I'm out of new books by her.

Amy - I hope you like her!

Trish - I would definitely start with The Distant Hours or The Forgotten Garden.