England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.
Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s 90th birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.
The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths some people go to fulfill them, and the strange consequences they sometimes have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers and schemers, play-acting and, deception told against a backdrop of events that changed the world.
©2012 Kate Morton (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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I do not often go into print over such matters, and I do not often download an audio book that I CANNOT listen too. However I feel compelled to comment on the dreadful narration of this novel by Caroline Lee. Whilst I can accept an Australian accent narrating an Australian author's work I cannot for the life of me think why she had to attempt a Geordie accent (at least that's what I assume it is supposed to be) for part of the novel. I have lost all interest in any plot there may have been as all I can hear is the appalling narration. I am two hours into a twenty hour tale, and alas I can tolerate it no longer.
Whilst warming to my theme I ask also why it is that narrators, if unsure, do not check the correct pronunciation of words in a reliable dictionary rather than unleashing their errors on an unsuspecting public? Also why oh why do many ignore the noun verb rule for syllable stress? One may be a REsearch scientist (noun) who carries out reSEARCH (verb). I for one proTEST loudly (verb) when narrators, or newsreaders for that matter, do not adhere to this simple rule. Perhaps I should summon a PROtest rally (noun).
All I can say is buy the paper version or don't bother...
"The Narrator ruined it for me!"
I have read several Kate Morton books and have always really enjoyed them. However, the narrator on this book has completely ruined it for me. At first her attempt at accents was mildly annoying in trying to guess what the dialect was suppose to be, but by chapter two the constant change in various unrecognisable accents was totally offputting to the story. Sorry Kate, I'm sure your story is as good as always, but I just cannot listen to any more. Audible, please, please, make sure your narrator either just reads the story in their own voice, or make sure they can pull off a reasonable accent they are attempting!.
"What a shame"
Good story I love Kate Morton, however Caroline Lee ruined my enjoyment with her strange accents if she had just read the book it would of been fine. I cant believe that this version has been published by audible her accents are almost comical in places and not very consistent.What a shame as it is a good story.
"I have to agree..."
Reluctantly, I have to agree with other reviewers about the narration. I wish I had read this book instead of listening to it. My low score relates to the listening experience - I would give the book itself 4 stars.
"Good story, not so well narrated..."
I enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed all Kate Morton's books that I've read or listened to. However, it is unfortunate that the narrator seems to have considerable difficulty in keeping up accents. Strangely, she has chosen not only to put on accents when speaking for the characters, but even when just narrating... I can't quite tell whether she was attempting cockney, Irish or a midlands accent. They all seemed to be mixed together, with Australian overtones...
If you've not read or heard any Kate Morton books before, this one isn't as good as some of her others, but is still worth a read. I do like the way she mixes time lines, without it becoming confusing. Overall I enjoyed it.
"Overlong and spoiled by the narrator"
I wish I'd read the reviews before getting this one. I've read 2 Kate Morton books on paper and was really looking forward to this one, having got hooked on audiobooks a couple of years ago. However, I didn't listen to a sample or read the reviews. Now I'm at the end of the first part, and can't decide whether to listen to the rest or not. Is her accent supposed to be east-anglian or geordie or even irish? I really can't work it out. And as someone else pointed out, why use an accent at all while narrating?
Looking back at reviews for Caroline Lee, I wonder if she started out in her own voice and has got progressively bolder as she records new books.
Audible needs to stop taking the easy(cheap?) way out of including inappropriately recorded books simply because they're out there.
"Good book but slow and with terrible narration"
This is the first audio book I have listened to, and whilst I very much enjoyed the story, I was very distracted by the most dreadful concoctions of regional accents,used by the narrator, which I think spoilt the book for me.Throughout the story, I felt compelled to try to identify the accents that Caroline Lee used for the characters ... No easy task as they changed randomly throughout book. Geordie, Irish, Welsh, cockney and Scottish dialects could be heard, with her switching between accents from sentence to sentence. Very annoying. That aside, the story was compelling, intriguing and interesting, and the characters strong. It was however quite slow in places, with an over emphasis on description and overuse of adjectives throughout. Not as good as the Forgotten Garden, but a very good read nonetheless.
"I've had to give up."
For the first time I've had to give up on an audible book. The story may be good, as may the book but the terrible accents that the narrator uses are such a distraction that I have lost all track of what is happening. It's such a pity.
Is this what the British sound like to an Australian?
"A book in the Kate Morton tradition."
The story is good, a true Kate Morton mystery. A time travelling secret from WW2 London Blitz years with a key point occurring in 1961, to present day unravelling. Exactly the sort of personal secret that may occur in any person's life, that said person is quite ashamed of and tries to make amends for. The central character, Dorothy is somewhat flawed but then so are we all!
The extremely annoying part is the narrator - Caroline Lee, who I believe to be Australian, her normal reading accent is fine, however her idea of dialect is truly awful. The central characters originally hale from Coventry, an East Midland city, but Caroline's idea of the accent drifts between Scots, Irish, Geordie, Northern and a bit of Welsh thrown into the mix, but I am sure that a dialect expert would decifer more in there too. There is certainly no Midland accent at all in it. It really really detracts from the story which in fact is worth more than my 3 star rating.
Personally, I believe audible reviews should be covered on the whole listening experience and not just the book itself, Caroline who has read previously well for Kate's books but here she really fails and I doubt I shall revisit this adaptation in the future.
Audible please would you study this reading, if you choose to use dialect in future readings, please try to ensure the narrator has the correct one.
"A nice book"
This was a long book but very enjoyable and nicely told. Easy to listen too. Although long it didn't seem so. I would recommend this to some one looking for something gentle to listen too with a good story with a twist.
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