Customer Reviews for

The Secret Keeper: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 334 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Another good book!

This was not my favorite Kate Morton (That would be the Forgotten Garden) but I would recommend it. Good read and plot... Keep them coming Kate!

posted by cefarber on June 25, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Looking for a lovely summer read?

An intriguing story of a daughter trying to discover her mother's secret history. The secret has to do with her mother's time in London during WWII. Nothing is as it seems. Full of twists and turns. A lovely read, perfect for summer.

posted by LDVV on June 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Another good book!

    This was not my favorite Kate Morton (That would be the Forgotten Garden) but I would recommend it. Good read and plot... Keep them coming Kate!

    17 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2012

    Reading about a teen close to my generation - never interests me

    Reading about a teen close to my generation - never interests me as much as characters from earlier time periods. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen, tired of her family, dreaming of a boy, and hiding out in a treehouse. I almost didn’t keep reading; a typical girl’s drama at that age doesn’t interest me. Luckily, I kept reading and heard about the murder, about the dramatic, self-centered girl that Dorothy (Laurel’s mother) used to be. I like Laurel so much better when she is an older character, a famous British actress. The care, concern, humor, and love that all three sisters show for their mother draws you into their circle.
    As their mother’s life nears its end, the mystery of their mother’s life sends Laurel sleuthing into her past, into a time when England is being bombarded by German bombs. It’s fascinating (want to read about her, but want to shake her too) to read about Dolly (Dorothy), a self-centered, dreamer who imagines a much more interesting, important life than she actually leads. Dolly’s boyfriend, Jimmy, seems so wonderful – honest, caring, moral - that you want to shake him too – for putting up with Dolly. Vivien Jenkins is a mystery woman, but the reason she often disappears for days isn’t hard to figure out. “Dorothy’s” son’s belief in his mother’s goodness eases your heart when you start to think the worst of her. The ending was wonderful…and totally unexpected for me. I saw a write-up from another reviewer who thought Morton’s writing was too transparent; I never saw the ending coming. Total surprise!
    Four and a Half Stars

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    The Secret Keeper Kate Morton Publisher Summary: During a sum


    The Secret Keeper
    Kate Morton

    Publisher Summary: 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. Dorothy's story takes the reader from pre-WWII England through the blitz, to the 60s and beyond. It is 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 and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told — in Morton's signature style — against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

    Review: I really enjoyed the characters and the story line. I was drawn in from reading the summary. I worked so many scenarios in my mind while reading and only at the end I figured out the outcome. I loved the going between the two time lines. The reality of war was played out well and the events going on while secondary were very enjoyable. I really liked the current day characters who were siblings and while Gerry was not as involved as Laurel was it was a good sub plot between the siblings. There were times like at the beginning where things were a little confusing like the original conversation between Dorothy and Vivien in Dorothy’s room. I also felt that sometimes there was so much information that was a bit overwhelming. Since this is my first, but not last book of Kate Morton’s that I will read!!
    I would like to thank Net Galley and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Marvelous book

    The story is enchanting and the characters so vivid, the reader becomes immersed in their lives. What an interesting conclusion!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Another good one by Morton

    I wasn't sure I would like this new book by Kate Morton. The character Dolly was getting on my nerves, but read on I did. Much like Laurel, about about 2/3s through, events started to click and I thought I had a pretty good idea where the ending would land. There was one piece that remained a surprise, though.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Very enjoyable _

    Good historical fiction with interesting plot turns. I have read all of Barron's Jane Austen mysteries and this was a nice departure from that genre.

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    Lovely story with great suspense

    Our Book Club selection for September 2013: a fantastic read! I am so pleased to have the opportunity to discover a wonderful writer and story-teller like Ms. K. Morton.

    The story is told through the viewpoint of several characters, starting with the eldest teenage child who witnesses a murder in the early 60's then deals with the implications 50 years later by her mother's deathbed. What is the secret and who is the secret keeper? At first, we think it is the eldest daughter, who is able to move on in life after witnessing this traumatic event without ever discussing it with her siblings and pretty much forgets all about it. The dying mother has a few private mementos which give her pause and start her on a path of discovery about her mother's early life.

    As the story unfolds, we gain an insight into the lives of the dying mother (Dorothy) and her past relationships as a very young woman during the London Blitz in 1941 with a young man called Jimmy, a young woman called Vivien and assorted people. Dorothy supposedly ended up in the small seaside community and fell in love after the war ended, starting an idyllic family life in a small farmhouse.

    Late in the story, we finally realize -- this is a spoiler! -- that the dying mother actually was a traumatized and orphaned heiress (Vivien) who married an abuser and developed a death wish at his hands, but was given the opportunity to switch identities when she crossed paths with the real Dorothy who died during a bomb raid. So Vivien survived using her new identity as Dorothy and created a new and happy life until the former abuser-husband finds her 20 years later, a meeting which triggers her desperate act of violence and murder. The adult daughter finally unearths her dying mother's "secret" former life and is able to put her mother's heart to rest at the end.

    The story is very well-documented and brings to life a difficult time of stress. The descriptions of various family households, some happy and some rather dysfunctional, give the reader the background for the character development and their motivations. Finally, the telling of the story is handled in a masterful way... We are given so many red herrings and do not suspect the identity switch until the author unveils it, it is a reflection of how deeply the main character has buried her own past identity.

    Not so much a crime thriller in the modern sense, more like a family drama... It makes one reflect on how likely every normal family may have long-forgotten dramas among one's parents and grand-parents, forgotten "skeletons-in-the-closet" and other such "secrets". It may start with a mysterious photo or book inscription...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    Merleah

    Name: um.... its right there... okay blind people, its Merleah Kendricks. Just call me Leah though. <p> Gender: obviously a girl, cantcha tell? *hair flip*. <p>
    Age: 16, 17 somewhere around there. <p>
    Description: Im about 5'7" and slender. I have back length auburn brownish hair that i keep back usually. My eyes are smoky blue, but turn grey when Im sad and black when Im angry. Dont ask me why cuz I dont know. <p>
    Personality: you are super lazy Im guessing? Meet me. <p>
    Rank: detective

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  • Posted June 28, 2013

    Another good Kate Morton book!

    Not quite as good as the secret garden, but still keeps your interest. Good twisty ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    Great book with a great twist.

    Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Worth reading and well written

    Mystery surrounding WWII in England. Well written and keeps you interested.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    I agree with what others have said about how "The Forgotten

    I agree with what others have said about how &quot;The Forgotten Garden&quot; is Kate Morton's best novel thus far. Having said that, all her books are entertaining and good reads. The Secret Keeper in particular has a couple unexpected twists at the end. I have yet to read one that I have seen the ending coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    Good rainy day book

    To really get the most out of this book, you should read it all at once, or as close as possible. It's written from multiple view points, set in multiple times, and it comes together best in a continuous read. Having said that, I highly recommend this book. It's a richly charactered mystery set in the Second World War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Recommended

    this book is a must read one. loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Loved the ending!

    Enjoyed another Kate Morton book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Excellent

    I have read all of Morton's books and love her storytelling. I can usually pick up the thread of where storylines are heading, but I was totally blown away by the ending of this book. I'm impressed with any book that keeps me totally guessing.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Really good plot

    Book was very interesting it had great twist at the end, I loved everything about it accept that writer kept putting "lol" through out the whole book which does not make any seance because book takes us to 1945 and I'm pretty sure there was no lol invented at that time and who ever is telling the story is in her 60-70 and should not be using lol to describe someones emotions. The other thing is I think witter should of concentrate less on Loren character because I found nothing interesting about her or any of Dorothy children. Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy were great characters, overall I loved the book.

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  • Posted February 11, 2013

    I found this one a little harder to get going on. There is a lo

    I found this one a little harder to get going on. There is a lot of jumping from one time period to the next in the beginning of the book. I've enjoyed all of Kate Morton's books and have become a follower. He historical detail is very good. Didn't see the twist in the ending of this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Really good

    It kept my interest. I think the writer is very good. I have read all of her books.....The Secret Keeper was my favorite. This is a good read, as all of her books are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Good book!

    I figured out the "secret" pretty early on but the book was still good. I love her writing style . . . easy and enjoyable.

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