Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

"Children don't require of their parents a past and they find something faintly unbelievable, almost embarrassing, in parental claims to a prior existence."

I have been a huge fan of Kate Morton - and this one ranks right up there with my favorite, The Forgotten Garden.  I was so excited to hear a new book was coming out, especially one about World War II, that I couldn't wait to read it when I got it for Christmas this year.  Once I started, I couldn't put it down.  

The novel begins in England in the 1960s where 16-year-old Laurel is celebrating her younger brother's birthday with her family.  When she sneaks away for some much needed peace and quiet, she witnesses a scene that will change the way she sees her mother forever.  Daydreaming in her tree house, she is brought back to reality when she notices a strange man walking to her parents house.  She watches with horror as her mother violently stabs the man with a cake knife.  After the incident, her parents never mention it again and the family continues living there happy life.

Fast-forward to 2011 and Laurel returns to London with her brother and sisters to visit her elderly mother.  When Laurel sees that her mother doesn't have much time left, she is determined to figure out her mother's story and why her "perfect" mother would murder a stranger in their kitchen.  

In true Kate Morton fashion, the novel alternates between Laurel's search and her mother's past in war-torn London in the 1940s.  The book was very engaging, the characters were wonderfully developed, and I just loved the description of Laurel's mother and the people of her past.  I thought I had this book figure out so many times, but was pleasantly surprised by the ending.  Everything fit together so well and I was left in awe by the outcome.  I can't wait to get my hands on Morton's next novel!

This book was #2 on my top ten list of 2014.

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