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The Secret Keeper | [Kate Morton]

The Secret Keeper

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    D. Lohnes Barry, IL USA 10-25-12
    D. Lohnes Barry, IL USA 10-25-12 Member Since 2008

    bookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    "Kate Stumbles"

    When I have finished with a Kate Morton book I am left with a sad sense of disappointment because I don’t want the story to end. I want to know more. I want to sit and chat with the protagonist and chew the story over. But sadly with this new book I have to say I was glad for it to finally be over. I’m still shocked that I feel that way. I find myself reexamining the feeling to be sure that’s what I really feel, and yes, sadly, it is.

    The characters of “The Secret Keeper” were extremely difficult to empathize with. I struggled from the very beginning to find one to latch onto, to root for. The leading characters were, for the most part, neither endearing nor engaging, however I slogged through the book, sure that Kate Morton wouldn’t let me down, and near the end I finally found what I had been looking for. The last third of the book held me riveted and redeemed the story. I finally discovered the character I wanted to keep as my imaginary friend. Sadly, it was too little too late.

    Caroline Lee’s delivery of the book was, as always, sublime.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Minnetonka, MN, United States 10-30-12
    Kathy Minnetonka, MN, United States 10-30-12 Member Since 2010

    Avid Audiobook listener. Mostly like historical fiction or contemporary mystery/suspense.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Starts slow but keep with it"

    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!

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NICOLA Burbank, Ca, United States 01-06-14
    NICOLA Burbank, Ca, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wish I had read it instead"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Caroline Lee’s performances?

    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.


    Was The Secret Keeper worth the listening time?

    I should have just read it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EJJ Russellville, AR 11-07-13
    EJJ Russellville, AR 11-07-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pot-Boiler"
    What did you love best about The Secret Keeper?

    The narrator was very good and could change accents seamlessly.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It would have made an excellent short story.


    Any additional comments?

    Kate Morton can take the seed of a good story and flog it into a shapeless mess.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII Grants Pass, OR, United States 08-22-13
    HIII Grants Pass, OR, United States 08-22-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    150
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    "I loved this book!"

    It has everything, interesting story, holds listeners attention, great details and descriptions. Don't miss it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 07-29-13
    i. Ski Duluth, Minnesota 07-29-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
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    47
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    "We all have secrets, could another discover them?"

    I am a fan of Kate Morton. This book is a story of a mother, with a secret to hold, that impacts generations of her family. I would like to reveal the secret, but that wouldn't be fair, and would ruin a major twist in the plot. However, I will say there is a murder, WWII bombing, class-warfare, childhood beliefs about causing deaths, and those things that we would just as soon not know but discover inadvertently. It is also a story of letting go of a parent -- first through the loss of intellectual faculties and then through actual death.

    As expected from Morton, the descriptions of characters, places, and experiences is wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronna United States 03-01-13
    Ronna United States 03-01-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprises, surprises, and more surprises!!!"

    Kate Morton has a unique way of telling stories from the past,and the present, that excites me as it develops mystery, clues , and answers, all at the same time. So many friends and reviewers said that the ending was shocking. Being a real mystery lover, I did figure out the 'surprise' very shortly into the book. But interestingly enough, I think that Kate Morton's writing is so exquisite, that confirming my suspicions a little more with each chapter, actually greatly added to my joy while reading this book. Every time something happened, my first thought was of how cleaver this story was unfolding!!

    The basic plot was simple enough. A young girl witnessed the shocking episode of her mother killing a man who showed up at their home. It was ruled self-defense, and the child was asked to keep this event a secret from her siblings. Sixty years later, as all the siblings gather for their Mom's 90th birthday, and final days of her life, questions and new answers are discovered. Love, friendship, WW1 War time bombings in England, and families broken apart all added to the fascinating truth of 'the secret'.

    Kate Morton never fails to please!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin United States 01-14-13
    Robin United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Slow to Unfold"
    Any additional comments?

    I've read other books by Kate Morton, so I know she has a formula and she sticks to it with good success. For some reason, I found "The Secret Keeper" quite slow to start out and for the first third of the book I had trouble staying focused on the story and feeling any empathy towards the characters. By the second half, while I knew what the secret was, I was still curious about how the characters had arrived at that point, which signals a riveting story and engaging characters. Ultimately, the book was very enjoyable, not great, not the most fantastic thing I've read this year, but a worthwhile expenditure of my time while walking the dog, spinning and knitting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 12-13-12
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 12-13-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little same same"

    I enjoyed the story and in particular the narrator, Caroline Lee however I have listened to two other Kate Morton books and found this one to be very similar, so much so I could predict a lot of the story. If you are a big Kate Morton fan then you will probably love it. For me however the formula of a big secret a long time ago that a current day child has to investigate and unravel is a little warn.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie M. California 12-11-12
    Annie M. California 12-11-12 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    667
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    "The twist really caught me by surpise!"
    Would you listen to The Secret Keeper again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What does Caroline Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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