Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

It's not your standard mystery -- no detectives or cops (really).  Rather, it's sort of a family saga, multi-generational historical fiction with a compelling mystery wrapped up in it. It's a quick read, and it's one of those that is highly satisfying when it's all said and done.

What's it about? The blurb (so I don't inadvertently add anything by attempting my own synopsis ;)): "During a picnic at her family’s farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a shocking crime, a crime that challenges everything she knows about her adored mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel and her sisters are meeting at the farm to celebrate Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this is her last chance to discover the truth about that long-ago day, Laurel searches for answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past. Clue by clue, she traces a secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds thrown together in war-torn London—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—whose lives are forever after entwined. A gripping story of deception and passion, The Secret Keeper will keep you enthralled to the last page." (from Amazon)

It has plenty of "what?!" and "a-ha!" and "no ... that can't be..." moments, and an abundance of "aww" and "so sweet!" and other touching and moving moments. It's a great book for discussion and a great book for pondering.

The only things that I thought could use some improvement, as far as the writing was concerned, are the following: (1) I felt that there were a few characters who seemed like bit characters or those you didn't need to "hold onto" in your brain that later turned out to matter.... and so I found myself flipping back and forth a bit more than normal to try to remember who is this person that suddenly I'm supposed to remember; and (2) I thought the end, though great and satisfying in many ways, was a little abrupt. Can't say more, but there you have it.

Overall, a great book. I'm happy that my 2nd Morton didn't disappoint!
Definitely recommend.
FOUR (plus) of five stars.

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