The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
SUBJECT: second chances, parental secrets
CHARACTERS: Dorothy Nicolson, Vivien Jenkins, Laurel Nicolson, Gerry Nicolson, Jimmy Metcalfe
DATE READ: October 21 - October 31
NO. OF PAGES: 463
Off the Shelf (pre-2012)? Source?: Yes, ARC from publisher for review
CATEGORY: English Lit
THRESHOLD QUALITY: 4
This is the story Dorothy Nicolson, mother of five, and her survival during and after WWII. The framework of the tale is divided into three time frames - 1941, 1961, 2011. 1941 has Dorothy falling in love, making friends while living in London during the Blitz. Her entire family has already died during air attacks, and she has to find a job and place to live.
Fast forward twenty years later and you see Dorothy with 4 little girls and Baby Gerry on her hip, when a strange man comes to call. Eldest daughter, Laurel, hiding in the tree house, sees the encounter when her mother kills the man. After speaking with the police, Dorothy tells Laurel, not to ever talk about it again.
Fast forward another 50 years and Laurel, now a successful actress, returns home for her mother's 90th birthday and her impending death. But now Laurel wants answers about that afternoon in 1961, and so she begins to reconstruct her mother's life and what caused her to act the way she did.
The story was fascinating and even though the time frames kept switching back and forth (something that normally drives me crazy), in this book, it works. The characters are rich and full-blown, grabbing your empathy, loving the good ones, hating the bad ones, wanting to knock some sense into the manipulated ones, and wishing you could tell the whiners to just get over it.
There were a few minor items that I felt were left unresolved or overlooked, but this was so engrossing it really didn't detract from the story. I have read one other book by this author and enjoyed it as well, so the third book that I have of hers, has just moved up on my TBR pile.
I would like to thank Atria Books Galley Alley at Simon & Schuster for sending me this book to read and review.