I ended the year by finishing a book that kept me turning pages later into the night than I would have liked. Hard to put down is the best way to describe this newest novel by Kate Morton, Australian author.
Ms. Morton has written other notable novels--The Forgotten Garden, The House At Riverton and The Distant Hours. (Click on the titles to read more about these earlier novels.) The stories in all the books are family sagas, use flashbacks to tell the story and keep the reader interested. My favorite is still The Forgotten Garden.
The Secret Keeper moves numerous times from 2011 back to 1961 and to WWII days in London where three unlikely people meet and interact. Deceit, murder, desire for more than what one has, and love figure into the story. Ms. Morton weaves her story carefully and with skill.
In 1961, sixteen-year- old Laurel, is witness to a murder. A stranger comes to the family home, engages her mother in conversation and in a moment, her mother stabs and kills the man. It is said to be self-defense, but Laurel, who saw the murder but did not hear what was said, has hoped to learn the secret that caused her mother to act so out of character. As the mother's 90th birthday approaches, Laurel searches and probes until she learns the story of her mother and two other people in her life during those war years. The use of flashbacks in the book are not distracting at all. I found myself looking forward to returning to the 1940's over and over again as the story progressed.
There are twists and turns galore in the story, and I must admit the final one took me completely by surprise. That must be credited to good writing.
If you're looking for a good read for these winter days, stop by your library, local bookstore or order it as an ebook. I did that this morning to find a couple of books to keep me entertained on this snowy day in our town.