Let’s start the weekend off with a book review and a book to add to your “to read” list!
The sixth book of my 2016 reading challenge was The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I actually had this book on last year’s summer reading list, but didn’t get around to reading it then. Truthfully, I purchased this book over a year ago and started it no less than three times before this go-round with it. I have no idea why the other times I started didn’t stick, because I really enjoyed this book.
The Secret Keeper takes place in both the English countryside and London in both the present (or 2011, when the book was written) and 50 years in the past during World War II. At the beginning of the story, one of our leading ladies, Laurel, secretly witnesses a shocking crime against a stranger committed by her mother. Flash forward 50 years, and Laurel’s mother is on her deathbed leading Laurel to realize that this may be the last chance she gets to answer questions she has about the stranger and what led her mother to commit such a terrible crime. The flashbacks in the book cover the happenings of Laurel’s mother and her friends from pre-war England through the 1960s to help us put together all of the intricate pieces of this puzzle.
As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed this book and the end had a twist I definitely did not see coming. There were some points where the book lagged a bit and it did take me longer to read than most (each chapter took about 15-25 minutes). Not only did I like the plot of this book, but it made me think of my own family. While my family doesn’t hold those deep, shocking secrets like Laurel’s (or at least I don’t think it does!), in times of loss, I always find myself asking my dad, aunts and uncles so many questions about the deceased and our family that I never thought to ask before and I always get answers I never knew or expected. There are always amusing and fascinating stories that are told during these times, all of which I wish would have been told sooner and under different circumstances. The flashbacks in the book were seamless and I never got confused about which time period we were in or who characters were, which can often happen when stories flash back and forth each chapter. Kate Morton’s writing was incredibly descriptive and her character’s were well-formed, likable and easy to feel empathy and sympathy for.
Overall, this book was a longer, but lovely read and would be perfect for upcoming summer vacations!
If you’d like to read about the other books I’ve read this year as part of my reading challenge, you can find my reviews here:
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
Stars over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
You can also find me on Goodreads!