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‘The Secret Keeper’ by Kate Morton is a story about the power of secrets and their cost combined with a mix of history, mystery and family drama.
The prologue sends the reader on a journey that begins in early 1960s England at the Nicholson Green Acres Farm in Suffolk and ends in 2011. Sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicholson lives an apparently idyllic life with her mother, father, her three sisters and one brother in their countryside manor house. One day, a stranger surprises their mother, Dorothy, outside their home. Laurel witnesses their meeting from her spot hidden in a treehouse and its disquieting outcome.
The author uses her technique of past and present narratives to tell Dorothy’s story through different generations of one family. Her story takes the reader from pre-WWII England through the Blitz where three strangers – Dorothy (Dolly), Vivien and Jimmy – find themselves in wartime London, brought together by chance, their lives becoming fatally connected.
It is now 2011 and Dorothy’s children have returned to Green Acres. Their mother is about to celebrate her 90th birthday. Laurel Nicholson, now a famous actress, has investigated her mother’s years in London during the Blitz. Realizing that her mother’s health is failing, she views this visit as the time to get answers from her mother as to what happened over 50 years ago.
The author has written a multilayered generational mystery with a suspenseful plot about dark, family secrets and intriguing adventures. The conclusion will take most readers by surprise.