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 ninetieth 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
Story was a bit long....
The narrator kept changing her accent - sometimes mid sentence from Australian to semi Brittish... I found it so annoying that I stopped listening to the story for a few days until I could handle listening again. Then I had another break. In the end I read the book on my kindle. I wish I had never wasted my audible credit!
I would have used Caroline Lennon or someone more professional who can use one accent properly and doesn't sound like a 12 year old girl.
I am never listening to anything by Caroline Lee ever again.
Kate Morton's skill is in creating intrigue and slowly, teasingly unraveling it. The Secret Keeper is an enjoyable mystery that keeps you guessing and changing you guess almost to the end. The story is set in the present with flashbacks to the London Blitz and England in the 1960's. The story is well paced and the twists are introduced skillfully. The exception to this is the central scene which involves a confusingly executed murder. The scene is so sparsely described that is difficult to picture how it actually happened and whether it would even be possible. Her two main female characters are interesting but all the rest are rather undeveloped and have a two dimensional quality. This impression could also be due to the narrator's lack of skill with accents, which were all rather garbled.
Overall, it is worth listening to, especially if you can forgive bad accents.
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written with rich characters who were believable. I found it thought provoking and was caught right up in the story and found myself listening when I really should have been doing other things! The twist at the end was a bonus.
Some people will find this novel boring and perhaps even confusing. I loved it for it's complex storyline and the way Kate Morton managed to bring all the events into a full circle towards the end. Some of the characters are annoying in their actions, but that made the story more 'real' to me.
The narrator is wonderful.
Although the story line has been interesting enough to keep me listening for 6 hours, I find I cannot continue because the narrator's attempts at regional British accents are detracting from the story. What should be Coventry, Suffolk and London accents have all become a peculiar sort of Irish. This is a pity because when Caroline Lee reads in her own voice, she reads in a clear and entertaining way.
Once again, Kate Morton comes up with a treasure. She weaves the story from war time past to present, with all the intricate layers of love, loss, betrayal, passion, and leaves the listener wanting more. A sensitive portrayal of how people lived their lives even while a war was going on around them. There was an unexpected (as least to me) twist toward the end that surprised me by making the story even better.
Definitely worth a read or a listen! Kate Morton is an amazing author, and Caroline Lee did a lovely performance.
Don't be put off by a weak start.... it soon picks up and is all absorbing. I loved this story and there were enough interesting twists towards the end to keep me enthralled. I was sorry when it finished. Not enough of Kate Morton's books have been made audio unfortunately. I would love to be able to listen to all of them.
I was waiting for Kate Morton's latest book and it did not disappoint. A wonderful tale of London during the Blitz blended with the 1960s and later. The characters were engaging and the ending very satisfactory. Just what you would expect from Kate Morton. As always Caroline Lee's performance is superb, her characterisations entertaining and believable. A must-read!!
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