My regular readers will know how much I love Kate Morton’s novels. There’s just something delicious about them. The type of novels that remind me why I love reading, books that you can sink into like your favourite armchair. The Secret Keeper was no different.
Like her other novels, The Secret Keeper is a time lapse between different periods with a mystery at its centre. This book features the Nicholson family. Laurel is 16 years old in the 1960s and lusting after a boy she’s met at a dance and thinking of her future career as an actress, away from the farm and family life. But then she witnesses a shocking crime which will resonate with her through the ages.
The time switches then to 2011. Laurel is an old lady herself and her mother much older is in hospital close to death. An old photo turns up depicting her mother with another young woman during world war 2. The mysterious Vivian has never been mentioned to Laurel and her siblings and in light of this she decides to investigate what her connection might be to the crime committed so long ago.
Finally, we switch back to the late 30s into the early 40s of Laurel’s mother’s teenage years as desperate to get away from the family who smother her, she moves to London to pursue her dream. Only to become involved in a plan which goes horribly wrong.
The story is gripping from start to finish. The reader is drawn in to Laurel’s story and her quest for the truth. Throughout, as the story evolved I began to hate Dorothy ‘Dolly’, Laurel’s mother who was the most annoying, narcissistic character I’ve read in a long time. It was hard to connect her with the kindly, loving, mother Laurel remembered from her childhood. But it all makes sense in the end so don’t worry if you get the same feelings. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that the ending was a complete shock to me. I really never saw it coming.