December 7, 2012

Let's Talk about The Secret Keeper (with hidden spoilers)

I devoured Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper on audio book. It was 19 hours long, but I listened to it really fast. I liked it a lot, and I really want to talk about it, but I don't want to ruin it for those of you who haven't read it.

So: spoilers are going to be in white text, that'll look blank on the screen, unless you highlight over it with your mouse. I'll try and make it make sense on both levels.

Basic plot is thus: fifty years ago a teenaged girl named Laurel witnessed a violent act that her mother, Dorothy, was involved in. The family hushed it up, and hasn't spoken of it ever since. Now Dorothy is dying, and Laurel, an Oscar-winning actress, is determined to get the answers to the mystery before her mother dies. Laurel's questions keep leading her back to the war - and to the life her mother lived long before Laurel entered the scene. So the story is told in alternating chapters between Laurel in the present day, and young Dorothy just before and during WWII.

I guessed 'the Secret' really early on. But then I second guessed myself, based on later clues. I really appreciate that about Morton's writing; it was good enough that I didn't mind that I was pretty sure I knew the answer, and that she almost tricked me into thinking I had got it wrong. It was a fun journey from point A to point B.

How about you? When did you guess that Vivien became Dorothy? I did, as soon as it was mentioned that they were both pretty and dark haired. But then the "Nightingale Star" mentions led me astray. I didn't see how Vivien would've known about it, until much later when it got to the Peter Pan rehearsals.

I also 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. The way Morton used time - skipping back and forward from 2011 to 1941 to 1929 to 1961, etc, revealed bits about the characters in fascinating ways.

When did you realize that Dorothy was delusional? It took me a while to realize that she was totally imagining her friendship with Vivien! 

I will definitely be reading more Kate Morton books! I really, really liked The Secret Keeper. And, I greatly enjoyed the audio production. Caroline Lee did a great job with the different accents and voices, and it helped with the skipping back-and-forth storyline that she clearly delineated each character's voice.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Should I recommend it to my grandma? Absolutely! Especially if she remembers WWII, I think she'd really like it. This post contains affiliate links.

Have you read Kate Morton? 
Do you mind when you guess the end early?