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The Secret Keeper
"An intriguing mystery, shifting between past and present." - People, 4 stars
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Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

Created: 07/09/13

Replies: 20

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 385

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Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

Everyone has their secrets. Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?


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

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 108

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I suppose in many ways that a lot of parents have secrets, though certainly not to the extent of Laurel's mother. Initially, Laurel just needed to know why her mother had been so threatened,. and so her investigation was a normal process.


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

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 73

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I always think secrets are a bad idea. They're bound to come out sooner or later, and when it's later there's more collateral damage, in my opinion.

Do you think Laurel's father knew the whole story, or do you think it was a secret from him as well?


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

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I don't think it is a question of Laurel upturning the secrets, as they actually unraveled themselves. Every family has their secrets. The identity of their mother seems like a pretty important piece of information to be revealed.


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

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 200

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I am not sure justified is the word I would apply to what she did. I think she had been haunted since the age of 16 by what she saw happen and I think she somehow needed to know for herself what had precipitated the scene that she had seared in her memory. I think she realized that if she was ever to understand it she had to get as much information she could before her mother died. She needed her mother to verify what she saw and find the justification for it. She knew and trusted her mother enough to know there had to be a reason.

I think that Dolly/Vivien was justified in not revealing her true identity by the fact that her life and the lives of those she loved were in danger. I also agreed with Laurel and her brother's decision not to tell their sisters as they were the only two directly involved so there was no point to telling. It would change nothing in their lives and only possibly upset them. I think Laurel's dogged pursuit of the truth became a very
good thing for her dying mother who now felt she could rest in peace.


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

Join Date: 04/23/11

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I agree with joyces that I wouldn't necessarily use the word justified to describe Laurel's actions. I do think it was understandable that she felt the need to investigate and find some "closure" to the events that happened when she was 16. But I don't think there's any need to tell her sisters since the whole story since I think it would be too upsetting.


Posted Jul. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 22

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I have to agree with joyces and jeannew. Getting some closure to what happened all those years ago. The questions and doubts were answered. But, the sisters knowing would only cause unneeded heartache.


Posted Jul. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 14

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I agree with joyces, jeannew and JulieAB. I am surprised that Laurel did not try to find out sooner. Laurel got the closure she needed. I don't think it made her feelings for her mother change other than to respect her more. Laurel knew her mother did the things she did to protect herself and her family. With that in mind, I think Dorothy did the right thing in keeping quiet all these years. Her secrets did not hurt anyone.


Posted Jul. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shellyb

Join Date: 07/04/11

Posts: 11

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I think she was justified. I was also surprised she waited so long to uncover the secrets. I'm not sure keeping secrets is always a good idea. I think many eventually come out. If they come out too late, there are bound to be problems. Laurel dealt with the secrets better than I think I would have. I was surprised Laurel was not as resentful as I would have been.


Posted Jul. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 73

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I'm still surprised that Laurel didn't share the information with her sisters. I know that if I'd been in their situation, I'd have wanted to know. If they ever DO find out, they'll be a lot more angry with Laurel for not telling them, I think, then they'd be with their mother. Especially since the scatter-brained brother knows, too. He very well may accidentally clue them in at some point.


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

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 51

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I agree with joyces about upturning the secrets - and with kimk about the danger of not sharing the information with her sisters - especially since Mom turns out to be a totally different person from the person they always thought her to be. It would be hard to reveal the new identity without telling the story. I understand why she kept it secret, but I'm not sure it was wise.


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

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 93

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I think her mother only kept the secret to protect her family. She feared Henry and then later she had to protect herself. I don't think children should know everything about their parents. I don't agree with keeping it from the other siblings unless there would have been some legal ramifications after Dorothy's death. Why shouldn't they know who their mother was? I think her secrets showed her strength.


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

Join Date: 03/01/12

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

Unraveling family secrets can be a dangerous thing with family members learning things they wished they had not learned. In Laurel's case, this turned out well for her and her mother as it was obvious that her mother was bothered by something from her past.


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

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 121

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I absolutely think every adult child in that family had the right to know who their biological mother was. There could be health or genetic issues later where that information would be necessary. I certainly think Laurel had the right to understand why her mother killed someone. After all, she saw it happen. Like some others have said, I think the truth has a way of coming out, and it's better to not have secrets in the first place, at least not from adult children.


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

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 96

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

It seems that Dorothy/Vivien was ready to have the truth known. She was burdened with so much guilt over the death of Dorothy it seemed to be a relief for Laurel to know the truth. As for the sisters I'm unsure about that. There are some secrets that some people handle well and others don't. I don't presume to make that call.


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

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 29

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

This is the core of Kate Morton's books which is why I enjoy them so much; the unraveling suspense makes it fascinating.


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

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 49

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I don't think it was wrong for Laurel to have uncovered the truth behind her mother's past, but I also think it's understandable (though perhaps not the right decision) for her mother to have kept her past a secret. She did not, after all, kill Henry in self-defense, though I would certainly use the word "justified" in regard to that killing. Whether or not keeping a secret, family or otherwise, is OK to do depends entirely on the type of secret.


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

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 23

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I have a family secret and am now the only one alive that knows it. It is a burden as I know telling it would change the life of one dear to me. I wrestle with the problem daily and wonder if anything would be gained by telling it. I think Laurel and Gerry will have the same dilemma.


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

Join Date: 06/20/13

Posts: 10

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I think Laurel used just the right amount of discretion in trying to piece together the past. She was most concerned with upsetting her mother and sisters. I think Laurel also knew this would be her best chance to uncover the secrets while her mother was still alive. She was directly involved and had memories of the stabbing, so it did concern her to some degree. I understand why Dolly/Vivien wanted to protect herself, and her family and kept the secrets in the past, but as the threat to the family dissipated, the timing for the reveal was now. I think if we could go back in the past and understand why our parents made the choices they did, the adult children might have a new respect for their parents.


Posted Jul. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
tswaine

Join Date: 09/14/11

Posts: 11

RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

I think Laurel just wanted to understand what she had seen years ago so she could put everything into perspective. And since she was burdened with knowing what happened she didn't want her sisters to know because it would probably upset them and why should they know years later? I think keeping a secret within a family is debatable. I guess it depends upon what kind of damage it would do to members of the family. Some secrets coming out might be a good thing or a bad thing.


Posted Jul. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: Do you think Laurel is justified in upturning her mother's carefully laid secrets? When is keeping a secret within a family justified?

Laurel is certainly entitled to the truth about what she witnessed at age 16, just as Dolly/Vivien was right to keep her past a secret. I am not sure what advantage would be the result of Laurel telling her sisters the truth, but in most families keeping secrets is not a good idea. When the secret is revealed, as it so often is, the consequences can be painful.


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