Monday, January 7, 2013

The Secret Keeper-Kate Morton

Oh my gosh! If there is one good thing about this cold/sore throat I currently have, it's the excuse to just sit and read when I have no energy for anything else. That enabled me to finish this book today. I have been waiting for it to be my turn on the hold list at my library for a couple months. And it was well worth the wait! I absolutely LOVED this one! Right up there with The Forgotten Garden.

The thing I loved about this one was that it had 3 dimensions and you got to know all 3 characters very well throughout their lives. It's split narrative between locations, times, and people, but it was much easier to follow than my first Kate Morton novel-probably the placement of time and place and person in a more obvious position under the chapter number in a different font than some of her previous works. And this is only her 4th book. But the tragedy is less tragic than in some of the others. And you feel so satisfied! Some things were a tiny bit more predictable for me because I've read her books before; one theory I had I quickly dismissed and then was slammed with the fact that I'd been right after all several chapters down the journey.

The three characters are:
Laurel-teen-aged when you first meet her-who later becomes one of the greatest theater actresses of England. She is the oldest of 4 girls and 1 boy.
Dorothy-Laurel's Mother is how you're introduced to her first. You get to know her as a teenager as well, which is really cool, feels disconnected with her family-especially her parents-and thus moves out as soon as possible. Loses her family in the Blitz while she is in London.
Vivienne-Friends and Neighbors with Dorothy during the 2nd World War, they volunteer at the WVS together. Born in Australia, orphaned as a young girl and sent to be raised by an uncle in London later to married a famous author, Henry Jenkins in her late teens; this is the time of her life you are introduce to her.

Kate Morton always deals in multi-generational relationships, especially that of the mother-daughter relationship, which I find really interesting. This book, especially, illustrates how as a teenager, you see your mother as that: Mother. You rarely think of her as being anything else, almost as if she failed to exist before she became your Mother. But then, in this book you get to look at this "Mother" from the standpoint of HER teenage years. Realizing the very things her teenage daughter accuses her of never having experienced-she HAS experienced makes you think about your own mother and who she was before YOU came along into her life :-)

A lot of times I feel like Downton Abbey is like stepping into one of Kate Morton's books, but since this one takes place during the second World War, the whole idea of Wealthy Class vs Working/Servant Class is starting to dissolve and therefore takes a lesser, but still significant role in this story than say "The House at Riverton" or "The Distant Hours". All in all, I'd have to put this up as one of my favorites!

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