it’s been a super long time since i wrote a book review – but trust me, i’ve been making my way through kate morton’s 500+ page novel the secret keeper. i pretty much love everything kate writes – her novels are usually drenched with mystery and an in-depth look at characters that kind of make you blush with feeling like you know them all too well.
this novel was a bit hard for me to get into – which usually isn’t like kate’s writing at all. i didn’t feel like it actually picked up until i hit around the 400 page mark.
in 1961, a teenage laurel is sitting in the tree-house on her family property when a strange man approaches the home, greenacres. laurel’s mother dorothy is exiting the house with laurel’s baby brother in tow and holding the family’s prize “birthday cake” knife, which they use to cut every birthday cake the nicolsen family celebrates. after a brief greeting by the man – laurel is witness to her mother stabbing the man who falls dead in front of her from his wound.
fast forward to present day (2008) when laurel, now a famous english actress, returns to greenacres as her mother is falling ill. laurel begins to dig through her mother’s past in an effort to piece together what really occurred that day and if her mother knew that man and murdered him in cold blood.
laced with flash backs of dorothy’s life during wwii and her entanglement with a former flame and an assumed “friend” – the reader learns more and more about the intrigue that is dorothy smitham nicolsen and how her fate changed not once, but a few times over the course of her life leading up to that tragic moment at greenacres.
great book with a tremendously great back story. it’s a love story that’s not a love story. it’s a peek into the past while reminding us that history dictates the future. it’s a glimpse into the life a woman desperate to find safety and refuge from all of the horrors she endured during wwii.
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