Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton

Kate Morton is one of my favourite authors and I always eagerly await her next book. Kate's books are weighty, full of complex characters and packed with historical detail so they necessarily take some time for her to write. This means I have to develop some patience.

I was delighted when The Secret Keeper came onto the shelves. As ever, it did not disappoint. I have so much enjoyed her previous books, The House At Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours, that I thought they would be difficult to surpass. But once more Kate excelled.

All of her books are rooted in both the past and the present. In the past a dark secret lurks which is gradually revealed as we encounter the story in the present.

The plots are complex but it is the characters and the settings which bring the story to life. Kate Morton's descriptions are so atmospheric you don't feel like you are reading at all but you are actually living in the story. The beauty in Kate's writing though has its down side because it makes me realise that I have an awful long way to go if I ever want to become even half as accomplished as she is as a writer. Sigh.

The Secret Keeper starts in 1961 with the teenager, Laurel, sitting in her tree house on a hot summer's day. Laurel is busily day dreaming about her future when she witnesses a crime which changes everything.

In 2011, Laurel is a well-known actress. Her mother is dying and Laurel goes back to the family home to try to make sense of what it was she actually witnessed on that day, before it is too late.

Her search leads her to wartime London and the story becomes that of three strangers, Jimmy, Dorothy and Vivienne, who's lives become entwined with drastic consequences.

If you want to lose yourself in a really good story, The Secret Keeper is a must read. The only disappointment comes at the end, when you have to say goodbye.