Avid Audiobook listener. Mostly like historical fiction or contemporary mystery/suspense.
The book starts our very slow and not until you're halfway through do you start to realize the plot is moving. Its not until the last couple of hours did I figure it out and even then had some good surprises. My favorite Kate Morton book so far!
I would recommend the book but not the audio book. The dialects performed by Miss Lee were awful. It was completely distracting and difficult to listen to. I am British and may have high standards, but have never been so annoyed. I have listened to other Books performed by this Actress and they were excellent while she was in her native Australian or Standard British which was passible. This Book incorporated northern dialects which ended up sounding like some odd combination or Irish and Cockney, thoroughly grating and annoying. I had to stop listening several times in frustration but returned because of the draw of the story it self. The story is quite compelling, if a little predictable. The Hidden Garden was much better as a book and Lee's narration was easier and more forgivable as the main character in the that book is in fact Australian.
I will avoid any performance Miss Lee has incorporating British Dialects. I will however seek out her Austrailian book, as she is a compelling narrator, just terrible at most British dialects.
I should have just read it.
Say something about yourself!
I have listened to all Kate Morton's books twice, with about a year in between readings. Much of the reason is due to the brilliant narration by Caroline Lee. I LOVE listening to her. I'd be happy if she stopped by and read the want ads out loud. But great narration is nothing without good material. Morton always delivers intriguing characters, many who have my same worries, wants, and wishes. The twist in this book that comes near the end made me laugh. I don't know...maybe someone a tad smarter might have figured it out. But I didn't. When the twist became clear, I found myself thinking how brilliant Morton is.
You name it...women I can relate to, an intricate story that spans WWII to the present, old secrets...and Caroline Lee to read it all to me. Perfection.
As an avid reader who is now legally blind and unable to read hard copy books, I am dependent upon narrators to bring the story alive for me. Caroline Lee does this with award winning aplumb. She has a beautiful voice, and knows how to craft it in order to define each character. Yet she keeps her own voice--I really hate it when female narrators strain to voice male characters--and when male narrators falsely voice women. It ends up being inauthentic as well as annoying. But Lee seems to know this and reads with truth and beauty.
I finished it in about three days. I was not initially drawn into the book as much as with Morton's previous books, but I became hooked soon eneough.
Morton brings gothic sensibilites to a modern mystery spanning sixty years. She is a masater of her craft. And, as I've already said, I'd listen to anything from Caroline Lee.
The only reason I kept on with this book is that I was doing outside labor and it was better than nothing. I also hate to delete a book I have paid for so I kept on. Then came the actual story.
Why this author had to drag out the first 2/3rds I don't know. Could I say it was worth the time to get to the last 1/3rd? I'm not sure, but it was fascinating. I had no idea of the ending and the ending was so.....great.
Obviously, my review is mixed. Am I glad I read this book? Yes I am. Would I read another by this author? I think I would try one more.
As I got closer to the end, it was more and more interesting. I didn't want to turn it off and I wasn't disappointed.
I rated the story itself as a 4 star but know you are in for a long and draggy beginning and middle.
Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each piece has a special place of its own and some very specific ones are special. But like a puzzle, regarding this tale, those puzzle pieces take on a new and wholly different meaning, when the last piece is placed and it all makes sense, forming a single beautiful new picture that was not actually imagined.
The Secret Keeper is approximately twenty hours of listening, read by Caroline Lee. This is not a spoiler; this information is conveyed by the author within the first chapter. The story begins with a teenaged girl, Laurel, witnessing a murder committed by her mother in the early 1960s. Jump forward to 2011, and Laurel is middle aged and her mother is dying. Time to find out what happened all those years ago, and why her mother was driven to this heinous act. Laurel begins to research, beginning with an old photograph of two young women, one of these women is her mother.
About half of the story takes place in WWII London during the Blitz, a bit in the 1960s, and the rest in 2011. In my opinion, the book bogs down in the middle when the author jumps to the back story of a main character, to her youth in Australia. This section had my mind wandering, and I didn’t bother to re-wind, just let it go forward. Ultimately, it seems whatever the author wished to convey in this section was superfluous, i.e., apparently the information wasn’t important to the story. I don’t think I missed anything.
You’ll learn a bit regarding WWII lives in London during bombing raids; rich details of the past traverse the pages. A terrific ending, well worth the credits.
Narration by Caroline Lee was clean, a well produced reading. Well worth the Audible credits. Enjoy!
I'm not a literary person, just someone looking for an interesting book to listen to during the lazy days of summer. I just stumbled upon this by accident, and now have become an instant fan of Kate Morton. The book was everything I was looking for...and more! I have no hesitation in recommending you also pick up this book!
Very rewarding and engaging story, with richly drawn historical depth. Characters have dimension, the storyline is fresh and includes surprise; the phraseology is artistic; the acting skills of the reader bring it brilliantly to life. My first all-around 5-star rating in my year as an Audible listener. Great find.
I really got into reading this book after chapter 25. Before that I felt it was overly descriptive and difficult to stay intrigued. after chapter 25 everything came together and I understood why the author needed to be so descriptive. I started to read the actual book had to switch to the audio version to finish. I loved the performance and the storytelling.