Helen McKenna's Reviews > The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
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it was amazing
bookshelves: aww2013, australian, aww2013-reviewed

When sixteen year old Laurel witnesses a shocking event in the summer of 1961, her life is immediately altered. Suddenly nothing in her world is safe and sure anymore and she makes a hasty escape to the bright lights of London, leaving her loving (if slightly annoying) family behind.

Fifty years later Laurel (now a well known actress) and her sibling are reunited as they nurse their elderly mother through her final days. Knowing she would want to die at home, they agree to take her back to the family home in rural England. It is only when back here that Laurel decides it is finally time to face the past and untangle the mystery that has haunted her for half a century.

Told in multiple voices and shifting between modern day, 1961 and war ravaged London in the 1940s - The Secret Keeper manages to seamlessly weave these various threads together, while continually feeding new snippets of information that only add to the mystery and intrigue.

The skill of Kate Morton is breathtaking - not only can she construct a multi-layered story that keeps you engaged and constantly guessing, she has the most beautiful language and manages to capture the various era's with razor sharp precision. From dialogue to wardrobe and characterisation to historical accuracy, Morton does not miss a beat in The Secret Keeper.

Having studied history myself, I really enjoyed the historic aspects of The Secret Keeper. I don't think I've read anything else that has given me such a front row view of the blitz in London and of the amazing tenacity of the people of London, who just kept living their lives amidst the most horrific of circumstances.

The characterisation in The Secret Keeper was fantastic, with all the major characters fully three dimensional and very true to the era.

I must admit I did guess the 'final reveal' twist earlier on, but had dismissed it, such is Morton's skill in leading the reader down multiple paths. So in that sense it was still stunning to come across it at the end. There were various other twists in the storyline that took me completely by surprise and constantly guessing as to what might be next.

This is the second Kate Morton book I've read, but I will be seeking out her others in the near future.

Overall The Secret Keeper was a stunning read, that kept me frantically turning the pages right to the end.
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Reading Progress

December 29, 2012 – Started Reading
December 29, 2012 – Shelved
December 30, 2012 – Shelved as: aww2013
December 30, 2012 – Shelved as: australian
January 11, 2013 – Finished Reading
February 4, 2016 – Shelved as: aww2013-reviewed

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