On Writer Wednesday, I discuss another author and his or her book. Today’s pick is The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.
This was one of five books that I picked up in a charity sale for €1. That’s for all 5! (Current exchange rate makes that $1.09.
This was the first book by Kate Morton that I read and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s multi-layered, with interwoven secrets, the kind of book that I love to read and to write. Like What Edward Heard, it’s set in multiple time periods. Morton’s book follows generations of a family, rather than a painting’s journey. Like Flight Before Dawn, WWII has a significant purpose in the story and characters’ allegiances and intentions can be mysterious to navigate.
The Secret Keeper largely revolves around three women: Laurel, Dorothy, and Vivien, and one man: Jimmy. Set primarily in the 1940s, 1960s, and 2011, Laurel digs into the secrets of her mother’s, Dorothy’s, past. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Laurel witnessed her mother commit a crime and she’s trying to get to the bottom of it. Vivien and Jimmy are intimately tied to the reasons, but it will take cleverness and commitment to uncover everything that happened and why it did.
I write twists and turns and this is something that often is mentioned in reviews of my work. Because of that, I can often see what’s coming and I especially love when a book still manages to surprise me. The Secret Keeper did that. I literally had to turn back the page and reread a portion to make sure I hadn’t missed a page.
I like to sprinkle clues into my writing, hidden meanings that will be understood by the readers after they know what the truth of the story is. After I finished reading this, I found clues popping into my mind, like snapshots of hidden meaning.
As an interesting side note, I have a central character named Vivian in one of my upcoming books and another of my upcoming works deals with WWII London. I found myself thinking about my own stories while reading this, while being completely drawn into Morton’s work. It’s almost 600 pages, but it flew by. The editor in me wondered why we were being told the same information twice at times, but it all pieces together in a way that makes sense. It’s also literary in style, something that I again enjoy reading and writing. For all of my novels, visit me at New Historical Fiction.
Have you read The Secret Keeper? What other literary historical mysteries have you enjoyed?
My best to you all,
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