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The Secret Keeper
"An intriguing mystery, shifting between past and present." - People, 4 stars
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How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

Created: 07/09/13

Replies: 11

Posted Jul. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 503

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How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

Laurel had never thought to ask her mother about her life before Dorothy met Stephen Nicolson. And it's impossible for Dolly to imagine Lady Caldicott being young and beautiful wearing those glorious dresses now going musty in the dressing room. And Jimmy's dad loves to tell his stories of the past. How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?


Posted Jul. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

I'm not so sure about how aging is portrayed, but I was struck at how Laurel, at the age of 66, was just then considering that her mother had a life before having children and was a different person. It's hard to think about our parents as young people, isn't it... I've got to admit I know a few details about my mother's teenage years/early 20s, but really, when I think about it, not really all that much.


Posted Jul. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

I think that most older people are perfectly willing to share their stories from when they are young but for the most part their children and their children's contemporaries never ask the questions that would lead to this type of conversations. I know some things about my parents young years as far as where they lived and things like that but very little about what they did for fun and how they felt about things at that age. It is only as you age yourself and look back on your on life that you start really wondering about your parents lives before they were married and had a family. That is where Laurel found herself. I think that the older people in the story like Jimmy's father and Lady Caldicott would have loved to talk about their younger days if there was anyone who would listen. As far as Laurel's mother it became obvious why she had never heard any of that from her mother when she started digging.


Posted Jul. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 503

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

Joyce makes a good point. One of our children's second grade teacher had the class write to their grandparents (or other relatives of that generation) and ask them questions about the things they liked to do when they were around 7 or 8 years old. I stored the letters from all four grandparents in a safe place and reread them a few weeks ago, and they make for fascinating reading.


Posted Jul. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

Davina, I think your child was blessed with an inspired teacher. Also, your wisdom in saving those letters will probably be much appreciated by your children as they get older.


Posted Jul. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 100

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

The last stages of Dorothy's life seemed to parallel just what we are going through with our elderly parents. The family dynamics seemed very believable. And I don't think we do listen well when older people tell stories. As a child, my grandparents told me stories all the time about their past and I was very interested. Now I wish I had been able to tape record those stories. Later I found out I knew much more about my grandparents than my father did.


Posted Jul. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 147

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

I thought Laurel's aging mother was portrayed pretty accurately compared to my mother who was also young during World War ll. Of course, my mother didn't have any big secrets, as far as I know. My mother wanted me to know about her youth and took me to see her childhood home after I was grown.


Posted Jul. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 56

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

I'm not sure I could tell you what I did at 7 or 8 years of age (other than read and play the piano), and I'm only 56! My mother's mother and I were very close until she died at 79 - I was 27. She was a no frills, salt of the earth, wise Midwest woman with an 8th grade education (and she was always self-conscious of that, although no one would have guessed). Anyway, she enjoyed telling stories about her life and I loved to hear them. Inevitably, she would tell a story the listener had already heard, and she started to preface her stories by saying, completely without apology, "I've probably told you this already, but I'm going to tell you again anyway".


Posted Jul. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

Our children are impatient with our stories about our younger days but curiously our grandchildren are interested. When I was a teenager an adult friend said, " I'll bet you can't imagine your mother being excited because she and your father were going on a date." I thought, "Yuk". I do think Dorothy' s children might have been interested in what it was like to be in London in wartime. However, it's hard and embarrassing to think of your parents as sexual beings.


Posted Jul. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 35

RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

Our children are impatient with our stories about our younger days but curiously our grandchildren are interested. When I was a teenager an adult friend said, " I'll bet you can't imagine your mother being excited because she and your father were going on a date." I thought, "Yuk". I do think Dorothy' s children might have been interested in what it was like to be in London in wartime. However, it's hard and embarrassing to think of your parents as sexual beings.


Posted Jul. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
billb

Join Date: 07/23/13

Posts: 5

RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

To Joanp...Just another reason to skip the children and go straight to the grandkids.
If you figure out how to do it, let me know.


Posted Jul. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: How is aging portrayed in The Secret Keeper?

As we have aged, my husband and I have become more interested in our ancestors and their lives, to the extent that my husband spends much of his free time on Ancestry.com and going through old photographs. If only we had been interested and had known what questions to ask back in the day when they could have given us the answers.

In this book, I think we are given a warning of sorts to treasure our elders and the past.


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