Middle aged professional with long commute whose goal in listening is to be entertained.
This gothic mystery has three of my favorite elements of a good story - a good mystery, 'time travel' (through parallel narratives) and coming-of-age transitions. Caroline Lee is as good as ever (the whiny character's whining really began to irritate me!), and the character list is easily manageable for listening.
This is similar to Kate Morton's other books, which are interdependent multi-generational mysteries focusing mostly on the female characters within a larger family saga. Unlike her other novels, I suspected the right answer to the mystery fairly early on. From other reviews I see that this is not an unusual experience, but I found it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story. The rich background descriptions of living in London during the blitz, the development of interesting and flawed characters, and the details of how it all came about make it a great listen anyway.
What a great listen. This is the kind of book that just keeps drawing you further and further in to the story, while finishing with a completely unexpected ending. I really enjoyed it. My only complaint is with part of the narration - for some reason the narrator feels the need to give one of the main characters an Irish accent (for the life of me I don't know why). It's completely unexpected when she first does it, and she continues doing so throughout the book. If you can overlook this, it's a great story.
I wouldn't listen to it again.....because I don't tend to listen to books more than once. But this was a wonderful book with great character development and twists along the way.
There were two...one I could guess at before it actually unfolded...the other was a complete surprise.
She did a great job of differentiating the different voices for the characters. I do find the cockney accent (at least I think it was cockney) annoying after a while...but that's just me.
She sets up the mystery well and holds attention to it throughout the story by the use of the eldest daughter. My mind kept coming up with alternate solutions.
The opening scene in which the eldest daughter tells of the murder.
She was understandable and made the different characters very clear/
The ending was a surprise and made me go back to the opening again.
We all would like to understand the history of our parents.
Caroline Lee yes, Kate Morton no. Her effortful, hackneyed writing makes me grit my teeth. For example:. "...between a rock and a hard place...", "drawing too long a bow" (repeated twice at least), implausible situations (Someone who's lived in a house almost her whole life needs to feel for the light switches? A blind landlady who leaves her light on late into the night?), and generally poor metaphors like kisses that taste like strawberries. Morton's writing is the literary equivalent of bad acting.
Her voices, accents, and timing were perfection.
Yes, it kept me engaged for hours at a time!
The story was excellent, never a dull moment- I was enthralled to the very last minute and didn't want to leave work (where I listen to my stories!)
I fell in love with the book AND the lovely lady that reads the book, she added so much depth and warmth.
I love the author's execution of multiple timelines and the haunting undertones she has throughout her stories.
Though a very different story, "The Secret Keeper" might be talked about in the same conversation as "The Forgotten Garden" because of the format.
I'll probably read anything that Kate Morton writes. If you are new to her writing, I would start with "The Forgotten Garden" and "The House at Riverton". Read these two first and there will be a good chance that you'll hop on board with her future stories. Great author, beautiful writing.
The incredible soothing and remarkably variable reading voice of Caroline Lee that gave life perfectly to Kate Morton's characters.
The character build up, their hopes, dreams, and flaws entangled together with the unexpected beautiful flow of varying timeline where mysteries and secrets lay hidden for us readers to find.
Her voice characterization of each individual person in the story is remarkable! She gave each character a voice I never thought can be done by a single reader!
Definitely! Most of the time, after parking my car in our garage, I would sit there listening to the audiobook refusing to believe I have to wait another time to drive so I can have the chance to listen to it more.
I am now an official fan of both Ms. Kate Morton and Ms. Caroline Lee! I will continue to acquire their partnership on audiobooks...
One of the better books I've listened to. I couldn't wait to get back to my car to find out what would happen.
I liked how it went back and forth in time, following the story from different perspectives. I loved the characters.
Caroline Lee was very good reading this story. Her accent is nice, and easy to listen to.
Am a fervent Kate Morton fan. Loved The Forgotten Garden, was entranced with The House at Riverton (aka Shifting Fog) and the Distant Hours, but the Secret Keeper has become my favorite. The narration by Caroline Lee was as cozy and comfortable as ever. Her voice bringing the various eras to life in vivid color, at times black and white. She would be a charm reading anyone to a calm and peaceful sleep. But during the day, when I listened, she kept me totally enthralled with the myriad of twists and turns of the story.
Morton's ability to draw the listener reader to empathy, even affection for all her characters flawed, all so human, and to disgust with her duplicitous cads, is amazing. Know this is weird, but narrator Caroline Lee did yelling and whispers really well. Been listening to books since the 80's and that's surprisingly important! Look forward to Kate Morton's next novel.