Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: October 16, 2012
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: 1959 England. Laurel Nicolson is sixteen years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime.
Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day and lay to rest her own feelings of guilt. One photograph, of her mother and a woman Laurel has never met, called Vivian, is her first clue.
The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams, the lengths some people go to fulfill them, and the strange consequences they sometimes have. It is a story of lovers, friends, dreamers and schemers, play-acting and deception told against a backdrop of events that changed the world.
Review: I absolutely adored ‘The Secret Keeper’! As children, we don’t often wonder who our parents were before they were our parents. Yet, in ‘The Secret Keeper’ finding out this information is the key to discovering the truth about one awful day when teenage Laurel Nicolson sees her mother murder a strange man at their idyllic farmstead. Now Dorothy Nicolson is turning 90 and she is losing the battle with a debilitating illness. Laurel is now a successful actress and she is compelled to find out the truth about her mother and this mysterious man and the day which changed her life forever.
Split between 2011 and Laurel’s search into the past and the late 1930s/early 1940s telling Dorothy’s story, ‘The Secret Keeper’ is a compelling story of tragedy, triumph, love, betrayal, loss, and acceptance. The story flowed seamlessly between past and present as more and more secrets were uncovered. Beautifully complex characters and a rich backdrop paints the tale easily for readers and there is a deliciously wicked twist at the end which will leave you speechless. Ms. Morton has written a spellbinding novel which I will definitely pass along to friends to enjoy, too!