Friday, January 11, 2013

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton




"Laurel was grateful that Rose had been able to meet her with the keys, but her head was buzzing with the list of what she knew and what she still needed to find out about her mother's past, and she'd been eager to get inside and put her thoughts in order. Watching Rose's car disappear down the driveway had filled her with a sense of enormous anticipation. It had seemed to mark the beginning of something. She was here at last; she'd done it, left her life in London in order to get to the bottom of her family's great secret." (p. 182)
 
I almost abandoned this book, but it's not Kate Morton's fault. I've had an exceedingly difficult time reading this month, almost writing a post entitled "The Queen of Two-Thirds Through" since that seems to be my status on all the books I've begun. (Don't worry, Tom, finishing Little Women is next.)

This novel did not grab me at first. "Fine," I thought, "Laurel wants to discover her family's secret. She wants to know why her mother stabbed a man with the beribboned birthday knife in 1961, unaware that Laurel was watching from high in a treehouse." Frankly, I could have cared less within the first fifty pages of the book.

Then, Kate Morton took me deep within the family's past by interweaving the events of 2011 with what happened during WWII in 1941, and I was caught.

The more I read, the more interested I became. The conclusion is the best of all, a truly satisfying end which unlike many "thrillers" (here think Gone Girl) doesn't make the reader feel jerked around by the author's manipulation.

With that, I close the cover on the second book I've read in 2013. It's written with a plot I enjoyed very much.

(Thanks to Atria books for sending me The Secret Keeper for review.)

23 comments:

  1. I've heard great things about Kate Morton, but I haven't had the chance to read any of her books yet.

    Those first few books of the year seem so important, don't they??

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    1. She's been on all the best seller lists so I was willing to accept this copy from the publishers. However, I've come to feel that Best Seller is not synonymous with For Bellezza. As to the first few books of the year they do seem more important that what one reads in, say, May.

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  2. No, not worried. Supportive. Confident.

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  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It does start off rather slowly but I think Morton creates characters that you do end up caring about!

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  4. What she ended up creating for me was a totally unexpected twist, which she carried off with aplomb. That doesn't often happen in my experience, as I tend to feel the author pulled it of his or her...hat.

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  5. It sounds like you've got a lot on your mind. I'm glad you were able to finish and enjoy this book. I really want to try one of Morton's books.

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    1. This had just been such a busy month with Christmas, the start of second semester, and sending my boy off to boot camp. I can hardly concentrate on my books!

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  6. I'm glad that this became more absorbing as you read. Sometimes it takes longer than usual to warm up to a book, but the rewards may be greater. :)

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    1. I love it when a book has a totally satisfying conclusion (which I would have missed had I abandoned it). It just shows finishing what you start is usually a good idea. :)

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  7. I'm reading like a snail as well, in fact did a half-way post on a book....I've passed on this book but now I think I might give it a go.

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    1. I'm glad to know I'm not alone! This had been a terrible month of not-reading for me, when I normally read tons of books in the Winter. I hope the spell breaks for us soon!

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  8. I'm reading ever so slowly myself. For some reason I am not getting entrenched in the books I am having.

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    1. I suspect we're still in a holiday mood? For some reason, it's been hard to focus this January. I hope we amend that soon!

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  9. I really want to read this, but I am struggling with reading, too! And when I do read lately it is mostly photography books...

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    1. Photography books sound like the perfect anecdote. More pictures, less words.

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  10. Kate Morton is a funny author like that, though. I've really enjoyed some parts of her novels and felt, 'who are these people and why should I care?' in other parts. More than any other novelist, she can ricochet the reader between the two! Really glad you got into it, though, and enjoyed it in the end.

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    1. I'm glad to know I wasn't alone in my experience in reading her. I was so pleasantly surprised by the conclusion I'd like to try other novels of hers. The author who has ricocheted me between two emotional states is Jodi Picoult. Or, how about The House of Sand and Fog? With each chapter I was siding with the protagonist!

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  11. I loved this one too! I wasn't so sure at first either but then it got hard to put the book down.

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    1. I kept on racing to the end once I was about halfway through. I realized that Henry must have hurt Jimmy for Dolly to be so violent, but beyond that I had no clue of what Morton had in store for us.

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  12. Wow. It sounds like a lot of us are struggling with our reading this month. I finally gave up on my current book (Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley) after reading over 60 pages. I'm finding it difficult to concentrate and haven't been able to find much of anything that captures my attention. Too much pressure for a good start to the New Year? I may just have to pull a tried and true author (probably a mystery/thriller) off the shelf and give up on my goal to read something from my "older than ten years" shelf.

    Oh, yeah. We were talking about your reading and Kate Morton! ;) I've tried one of her earlier books (perhaps her first), but couldn't get interested and gave up after a few chapters. I wonder if this one could be the one to change my mind...

    Thinking of you, my dear friend.

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  13. I enjoyed it very much. here is my recipe-review: http://wordsandpeace.com/2012/10/01/2012-48-review-the-secret-keeper/
    and I'm currently reading the only Morton I had not read yet: The Distant Hours. I don't want it to end!!

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  14. I loved Kate Morton's first two books but the third didn't work as well for me. I am reading this at the moment and after a slow start I am enjoying it.

    Hope you find your reading mojo!

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