The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
A Novel

79%

45 Critic Reviews

The Secret Keeper is filled with intriguing characters and vividly describes the conditions in London...It is a book filled with secrets that are gradually discovered throughout the course of the book. It will make you wonder just how well you really know your own family.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.

During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.
 

About Kate Morton

See more books from this Author
Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. Her first novel, The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, was a number one bestseller in 2007. The Forgotten Garden, her second novel, was also a bestseller in Australia, the UK, the US and in many European countries. You can find more information about Kate and her books at www.katemorton.com.
 
Published October 16, 2012 by Atria Books. 597 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon11
Peak Rank on Nov 04 2012
icon5
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Secret Keeper
All: 45 | Positive: 40 | Negative: 5

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Nov 12 2012

Though Morton does follow the same basic framework of her previous novels, she is still masterful at controlling a story's flow and tension. Readers will not suspect the twist at the end.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Caitlin Gong on Jan 19 2013

The Secret Keeper is filled with intriguing characters and vividly describes the conditions in London...It is a book filled with secrets that are gradually discovered throughout the course of the book. It will make you wonder just how well you really know your own family.

Read Full Review of The Secret Keeper: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Kate Morton on Aug 27 2013

“The Secret Keeper” is a satisfying mystery that touches on the big themes of family, friendship, and deception. Morton weaves her intiguing tale in stages, alternately revisiting the chaotic years of the Blitz and returning to the England of 2011 as the secrets that led to the murder of a man who seemed a perfect stranger are exposed one by one.

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Examiner

Good
on Feb 01 2013

"The Secret Keeper" is a joy to read. Morton has created such a fascinating and compelling story that takes you on a journey.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Nov 12 2012

Though Morton does follow the same basic framework of her previous novels, she is still masterful at controlling a story's flow and tension. Readers will not suspect the twist at the end.

Read Full Review of The Secret Keeper: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The New Zealand Herald

Good
Reviewed by Nicky Pellegrino on Jan 13 2013

Some fans of her previous work might struggle with the beginning of The Secret Keeper...but it all folds together so brilliantly in the end, it's worth staying with it.

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Red Room

Good
Reviewed by JM Cornwell on Dec 12 2012

Mortons lays bare the hidden niches of the past and of the heart that make this story hard to put down and even more difficult to forget.

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http://www.thereadingcafe.com

Good
Reviewed by Sandy on Oct 25 2012

THE SECRET KEEPER is an amazing, well-written and emotionally draining look at the family dynamics built on lies and deceit.

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That's What She Read

Below average
Reviewed by Michelle on Aug 02 2013

Because the novel starts out so slowly and the characters do not lose their flatness until a good two-thirds into the story, The Secret Keeper is not one of Ms. Morton’s best.

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All the Books I Can Read

Above average
Reviewed by 1GIRL2MANYBOOKS on Nov 22 2012

People confided everything they needed to know in letters, which were then preserved and kept in a public place. I know Vivien was part of a well-to-do society and was written about in newspapers and publications but it just did seem a little too easy. I would’ve liked a little more of the story to be spent on Laurel trying to find the information.

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A Bookworm's World

Good
Reviewed by Luanne on Oct 16 2012

Oh, the ending! Morton has done it in previous books - caught me unawares in the final pages. She's done it again in The Secret Keeper - the ending has a fantastic twist. I went back and re-read earlier passages with a different eye.

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Literary Exploration

Good
Reviewed by Mary on Feb 03 2013

The story could have taken any number of turns and I raced through the pages to find what the truth of the situation actually was. Kate Morton has done an amazing job with this story and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery, romance and historical fiction.

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Leeswammes' Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Leeswammes on Oct 26 2012

I wasn’t sure about the order in which the story was told. That is, generally we first read a bit about the past and then about Laurel trying to find out what happened at that time. Because of that, I didn’t find the story too compelling, because the reader already knew what Laurel didn’t.

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Good
Reviewed by Athira on Jan 18 2013

...I found The Secret Keeper quite enthralling. It had something in store for almost every kind of reader - I appreciated the well-constructed mystery and its fast pacing best.

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Book'd Out

Good
Reviewed by Shellyrae on Nov 05 2012

Finely crafted, The Secret Keeper is both an engrossing mystery and a sweeping historical saga. A compelling tale of love, loss and betrayal this is a wonderful read from a gifted storyteller.

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Confessions of a Book Addict

Good
Reviewed by Christina on Nov 05 2012

Fans of Morton and a good mystery must pick up The Secret Keeper this fall. I guarantee you'll will be guessing what on earth happened that day at Green Acres Farm and will be thinking about the outcome long after you've closed the book.

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Book Hooked Blog

Good
Reviewed by Julie G on Dec 27 2012

If you like historical fiction, if you watch Downton Abbey or Call The Midwife, or if you enjoy the British WWII setting, you'll love it.

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The Book Stop

Below average
Reviewed by curlygeek04 on Dec 15 2012

I think the problem with this book is everything is just too extreme. The characters aren’t just beautiful, they’re gorgeous. Life is either a wild party, a horrific tragedy, or a bucolic childhood in the country. It’s all a little too bright and shiny.

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You've GOTTA Read This

Good
Reviewed by Sandy on Mar 07 2013

Morton really does an amazing job of creating unique characters that could stand up and walk off a page. She takes her time in building them, so you really get to know them, their motivations and foibles.

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Fantasy Book Critic

Excellent
Reviewed by Liviu on Oct 14 2012

The Secret Keeper, my top novel of 2012 as of now, is just awesome stuff and a book to be read many times for atmosphere, details, hints - even when you know what's what and the novel is as powerful if not more - not to speak of Kate Morton's narrative pull that makes one compulsively turn the pages.

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No Charge Bookbunch

Above average
on Oct 19 2012

With its subtle twists, this tale has her usual formula and takes a little longer than usual to get to her trademark surprise ending.

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Bibliophilic Book Blog

Good
on Aug 27 2013

Ms. Morton has written a spellbinding novel which I will definitely pass along to friends to enjoy, too!

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My Guilty Obsession

Good
Reviewed by Kindlemom on Feb 14 2013

As always with all of Morton's stories this was very well written and very well done. A story that will keep you curious and turning the pages.

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The Bluestocking Society

Good
on Dec 12 2012

In all, I quite enjoyed this tale of family secrets and adventure. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Ms. Morton’s work in the future.

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The Book Lover's Boudoir

Excellent
on Jun 06 2013

The Secret Keeper ticks all of the boxes for me. Morton offers us real, vivid and believable characters. The plot is original, compulsive and compelling. The quality of the writing was top form.

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So Many Books, So Little Time

Excellent
Reviewed by Denise on Oct 05 2012

The Secret Keeper was well-written and her characters were well-developed. There were a lot of characters in this story and it jumped a lot from past to present but I feel like Morton did a great job of making each character unique and memorable.

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Karan Brooks

Excellent
on Nov 13 2012

The Secret Keeper is best described as a delicious book. It’s something you’ll want to savour, to reflect upon, to appreciate for the work of literary art that it is before you return for a second and third serve.

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red headed book child

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Sep 09 2012

What Morton does really well is create complex characters and makes the reader get emotionally attached. She teases us with secrets and keeps us reading with her crafty intrigue.

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Mrs. Q Book Addict

Excellent
Reviewed by Jennifer on Nov 27 2012

I highly recommend The Secret Keeper. It’s sure to please readers...Kate Morton’s writing is amazing! While her books seem long, you really don’t want to put them down.

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Dolce Bellezza

Good
Reviewed by Bellezza on Jan 11 2013

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

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For Winter Nights

Below average
on Nov 03 2012

I was disappointed by the predictability and the slow, slow circle-creeping narrative. Rarely have I urged a book to ‘get on with it!’ quite as much.

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Swamp of Boredom

Below average
Reviewed by Melissa on Jan 03 2013

Her style isn’t stale, necessarily, but it also isn’t original. I expect her to continue to churn out three star novels...to adoring fans for years to come. But, for some of us, anticipation will be muted and expectations will be lowered.

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Historical Novel Review

Good
on Nov 03 2012

What I enjoy most about Kate Morton’s work, is that beneath the surface, characters are never what they first appear. As one turns the pages, the story’s details unfold, shedding just enough light to keep one intrigued...

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Ageless Pages Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Jessie on Oct 02 2012

Her style is uniquely her own, and her ability to create such detailed, well-characterized novels truly sets her above most other authors.

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Literally Jen

Excellent
on Aug 27 2013

Once all of the mysteries were unraveled, I was utterly speechless. I began going over every single scene of the book in my mind, marveling at how beautifully...every single piece of the puzzle fell together.

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Lucybird's Book Blog

Excellent
on Oct 04 2012

Even now, several hours after having finished the book it’s still running through my head. There are those little loose ends that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but still keep you wondering.

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Confessions of an Avid Reader

Good
Reviewed by Melissa on Nov 14 2012

Kate Morton's latest novel, The Secret Keeper, is a richly imagined tale of love. lies and long-buried secrets.

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http://bibliophilescorner.blogspot.com

Good
Reviewed by Olga J on Jul 14 2013

I did enjoy this book and if you are a fan of lyrical prose and a character-driven story I think you will as well.

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Leeds Student

Good
Reviewed by Hannah Dawson on May 05 2013

...The Secret Keeper succeeded in subverted all the initial expectations of a serene countryside setting; a worthy read for summer, although at 500 pages it may take a while.

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Judith Starkston

Good
on Apr 05 2013

At one point in The Secret Keeper I thought, oh, I’ve got this figured out and it’s turning too predictable. Such hubris. I wasn’t close...

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SarahReck.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Reck on Jan 14 2013

...I love the intrigue and the mystery included in Morton’s books. I was so so so sure that I had this ending figured out, but I didn’t. It was a page turn, a read, a — “wait, did I read that wrong?” — then a gasp and an exclamation from me. BRILLIANT. That’s really all I have to say about that twist. It was absolutely, positively brilliant.

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Quirky Vintage Dolls in Peach Stockings

Excellent
Reviewed by Natalie on Nov 14 2012

Overall, I really really really really really liked it. Which is typical of me with a Kate Morton book. I think this book is worth 5/5 stars and a favourite (no surprise there)...

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La Buena Vida

Above average
Reviewed by Meredith on Jul 12 2013

Despite figuring out the "twist" ending pretty early on, I'd say that The Secret Keeper is still worth a look, especially if you're a Kate Morton fan. As always, the writing was beautiful, the book was resolved well, and the characters were interesting, just don't expect a fast-moving mystery!

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Historical Fiction Notebook

Above average
on Feb 03 2013

The central mysteries and secrets didn't seem quite as far-fetched as plot twists in other Morton novels and while one plot element I suspected all along did end up happening, I was still engaged until the end.

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Quirky Bookworm

Good
on Dec 07 2012

I...liked how the characters unfolded layer by layer. At first some characters seem really likeable, and then they become less so. While others, who at first seem aloof, ended up being my favorites.

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Reader Rating for The Secret Keeper
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 3911 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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