During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to the family farm for Dorothy's ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by questions she has not thought about for decades. From pre-WWII England through the Blitz, to the fifties and beyond, discover the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds - Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy - who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.
The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths people go to fulfill them, and the consequences they can have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers, and schemers told - in Morton's signature style - against a backdrop of events that changed the world.
Published in hardcover: Oct 2012
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You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!
Some of the recent comments posted about The Secret Keeper:
After a dramatic opening....
No. I didn't really think it was going in a different direction. I think it was a great opening for the story then to develop. I did assume that there would be some closure as to why the man was stabbed. - JulieAB
Did jealousy play a big part in this book? Why? With whom?
Perhaps not so much jealousy as possessiveness, if there even is much of a distinction. Dorothy boldly seduces Jimmy, and then takes him for granted. She has conquered him; he is hers. In a similar way, Dorothy sets out to seduce Vivien with a focus ... - dianec
Did you find any moral ambiguity in Dorothy's behavior?
I agree with Kimk... It was an instinctive reaction to protect her baby. - Terry R
Did you prefer following Laurel’s story or the stories surrounding Dorothy, Jimmy and Vivien?
I always liked the chapters where I learned more of the story thru the eyes of Vivian/Dorothy/Jimmy. I liked how their different perspectives all melded together. - johannam
Did you see the ending coming?
I did not see the end coming. Once things were falling into place I got that familiar flutter in my stomach however. I love it when an author is able to give me that gut feeling with the twists and turns. - wendyf
"Morton's finesse with family secrets increases with each novel." - Kirkus
"Morton weaves an intriguing mystery, shifting between past and present among fully realized characters harboring deep secrets." - People, 4 stars
"Morton deftly leads the reader astray time after time, and just when you're certain you know where the story is headed, she inserts another stunning twist. With well-conceived and well-executed characters, a skillful portrait of London at war and an ingenious plot, she scores another winner that blends love, death and, eventually, redemption" - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Morton's best-selling work is always classy and nuanced; great for reading groups." - Library Journal
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Kate Morton is the eldest of three sisters. She was born in South Australia and moved with her family numerous times before settling, finally, on Tamborine Mountain. There she attended a tiny country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her sisters.
Kate fell avidly in love with books very early. Her favorites were those by Enid Blyton, and Kate escaped many times up the Faraway Tree or with the Famous Five into smugglers' cove. It was a love deeply felt, for it is still mysteries and secrets that dance around the edges of Kate's mind, keeping her awake deep into the night, turning or typing pages.
When she finished school, Kate studied and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London. After an ill-fated ...
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