Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
4.0 out of 5 stars - Secrets usually are revealed...
I really enjoyed this historical fiction mystery that spans decades and transports the reader back and forth in time from WW II London up to modern day.
Told in alternating voices by the main characters, the story is about 3 people whose lives are set on a collision course brought about by chance meetings, unstable personalities, and the traumatizing events of the time period.
Dorothy (Dolly) Smitham Nicolson has known tragedy - she came up to London to work at a boardinghouse and her family was killed in the bombings after the war started. She is now an elderly widow with 4 grown children and lies dying in a hospital. Laurel, her eldest daughter and an actress, is haunted by a scene she witnessed while at home one summer day long ago. Is it too late to ask her mother what that was about -- they have never spoken of it.
Jimmy Metcalfe, a poor but accomplished photographer, and Dorothy meet, fall in love in 1938 and make plans to escape away from the horrors of the London Blitz to a seaside paradise. But they both have to work hard to save up enough money to realize their dream.
Vivien, age 8, is sent to England from Australia when a car accident kills her family. She meets and marries a famous author, Henry Jenkins, and lives across the street from Dolly in a well-appointed mansion. She has the life that Dolly yearns for.
The tantalizing story of these three plays out in wonderfully depicted period settings and with the backdrop of war and desperation. I was drawn in immediately and eager to solve the mysteries and hear those long buried secrets. Lots of twists and turns along the way as the author teasingly doles out clues and contradictions that create more questions that require investigation.
The book is a bit convoluted and complicated and the reader needs to pay attention - perhaps even flipping back to reread certain sections at times. It comes together in a satisfying conclusion. I really liked this book and the writing style. I plan to read other novels by this author!
Thank you to Goodreads for the copy to review.