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The Secret Keeper

A Novel
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
Length: 19 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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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 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

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good (ish) story, terrible narration :(

What did you like best about The Secret Keeper? What did you like least?

Story was a bit long....

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Caroline Lee?

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.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

I am never listening to anything by Caroline Lee ever again.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Kate Morton success

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo
  • 03-11-13

Fantastic story

One of the best stories I've listened to. It kept my attention and kept me guessing right until the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great story, well told

What made the experience of listening to The Secret Keeper the most enjoyable?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful story.

I loved this book and the narrator was fantastic. Very clever story that kept me entertained for the entire book.

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A web of stories

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.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Should it have been set in Ireland?

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.

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Another Kate Morton gem!

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.

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Enjoyable novel

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.

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Surprising

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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  • Brian
  • 05-06-14

Excellent - Ripping Yarn ..

Any additional comments?

I had this on my wish list because I thought it was an English historical novel and it kept coming up with my previous searches ... I bought it and proceeded to loose it in my Library as I migrated to the New version of The Audible App.

Anyway what a surprise - I was slowly drawn in to the intrigue of the characters, the dialogue, the movements in time and the mystery was so well unravelled.

The only thing I would say is that it was a bit too convenient that certain people from long ago kept journals that could be discovered by Lol & Jerry but hey - the joys of fiction !!

I then started researching who this Kate Morton was expecting some English author, and discovered she practically a neighbour here in Brisbane.I'm now eager to read another hmmm will it be the the House at Riverton or perhaps The Shifting Fog ??

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lesley
  • 10-16-18

Secrets

Caroline Lee: accent/dialects were not good. need more practice or leave out. story was good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise Bayley
  • 12-09-18

Full of surprises

Loved this book so many twists and turns, just when you think you get it now there is another twist that I didn’t see coming. Y

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynnette
  • 10-08-16

100% recommendation

A wonderful story with unexpected twists and turns. Cleverly written and definitely a secret..... Caroline Lee as always is such an animated and clear reader.
Lcdee

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-19

Most enjoyable

A lovely gentle rollick thru wartime & beyond. The characters are most enjoyable. Well paced & beautifully read.

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  • Pinkie
  • 11-22-19

Wonderful Story

Loved this book...was a little slow starting but could not put it down...so many twists....Great book...and great job narrating by Caroline

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-18-19

Great narration

Caroline Lee is a great narrator as always! Loved the unexpected twist at the end!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aussielee
  • 09-16-19

Too slow and long

This is my first Kate Morton book and, as her books are so popular as well as critically acclaimed, maybe I was just expecting more.

The Secret Keeper is definitely a piece of modern literature. Morton’s style is very meticulous when it comes to descriptions, characterisation, historical accuracy, and flowing from one time and place setting to the next. I can’t fault her in any of these aspects. What I did find lacking, however, was plot.

Laurel Nicholson is a famous actress who is haunted by a terrible event which occurred when she was 16. Her mother, Dorothy, is the only one who knows the whole truth of what happened that day but Dorothy’s declining health means Laurel will need to seek other avenues to solve the 50 year old mystery.

Morton slowly (so so so slowly) reveals the details via Laurel’s modern day investigations as well as 1941 flashback scenes written from three major characters point of views -- Dorothy, her sweetheart Jimmy, and Dorothy’s neighbour, Vivien.

Dorothy is the secret keeper from the title. I’m afraid I didn’t think anything was very secret. I guessed it completely by about chapter 8. (I must say I’d recently read one book in particular - I won’t say which so that you don’t get any spoilers -- set in modern/present times that I believe uses almost the same plot as The Secret Keeper so this might have made it more obvious to me also.)

For a book with such a thin mystery plot, the book is huge. I listened to 20 odd hours of the audio version which felt like it went on forever. Morton’s descriptive passages make you feel like you’re there but they often go on and on and on. I remember one scene clearly that was a perfect example of this; Dorothy and Jimmy sneak into a nightclub and Morton had pages and pages devoted to them just lining up, checking their coats and crossing the ropes to enter the establishment. Seriously, it was pages and pages before they actually got into the nightclub and interacted with anyone (or each other) in the club. This could have been written in literally one line.

This style tended to frustrate me and became quite boring (as I started to tune out as the narrator of the audio version droned on and on). I very nearly gave up on the book at around the 50% mark. I only stuck it out when I read some reviews stating the ending would be worth my perseverance.

So, now that I’m done, do I think it was worth it?

Mmm… I don’t know. As I said, I guessed the secret to the mystery early on and my suspicions only increased as I kept reading. But, saying this, I suppose I wanted to keep reading to find out for sure.

There was quite a hint of sadness throughout the book I enjoyed. And, as always, I enjoy books set during WW2. The romance was limited to the 1941 characters and at times I thought perhaps Morton might have given Laurel someone (even if it was more scenes with her sisters or brother) to enter into a dialogue with rather than just giving us her inner thoughts.

I think, after reflection, I’d probably concede I liked The Secret Keeper. The only problem was I didn’t love it.

3 ½ out of 5

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  • Mandy
  • 07-27-19

Nice and easy. Sussed it out at the beginning

Nice and easy. Romantic and well written and read. But simple in essence , I guessed what had happened early on (and that’s unlike me). Nevertheless. Great story. My mind was thrown to the dark war times easily.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-05-19

Wonderful

I nearly didn’t continue as it got off to a bit of a slow start, but as I went on I became absolutely hooked and remained that way until the last second... a wonderful story that will keep you guessing until the end.