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Kate Morton's heart-breaking novel, The Secret Keeper, is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, murder and enduring love, moving between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present.
1961: On a sweltering summer's day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can't wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.
2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds – Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy – who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined.
In her enjoyable latest novel, Morton returns with her signature brand of storytelling, following The Distant Hours. When 16-year-old, Laurel Nicholson witnesses her mother commit a shocking crime after a man Laurel doesn't know comes to the house. Over time, Laurel alters the memory. Years later, Laurel, now a famous actress, returns to her childhood home as her mother, Dorothy, lies dying. When a photograph of their mother as a young woman with an air unfamiliar to her daughters is uncovered, Laurel is put on a path to uncover her mother's secrets. In WWII Dorothy and her lover, Jimmy Metcalfe, devised a plan to punish Vivien Jenkins, a woman Dorothy imagined had slighted her. Vivien too had secrets that had life-altering consequences for the three. 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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The secret keeper