Rating: ★★★★☆ – great!
It’s rare to be continually blown away by the quality of writing of an author. From the moment I met my first Morton book, I have been a big fan. It’s been about a year since I read The Distant Hours and then devoured every other one of her four books. I am eagerly awaiting her fifth.
The Secret Keeper, in keeping with Morton’s style, is a large, complex story, weaving multiple generations and characters. Dolly, who is at the end of her life’s journey in 2011 is the character connecting the present narrative with the 1940 story. In 1940, Dolly was a young woman working in London, during the war with upward aspirations. In 2011 we find that she has been an exemplary mother, who has lived out her dream in a large country house with the love of her life and her children. Only marred by a horrific occurrence in the 60s, when her past appeared to catch up with her.
Dolly’s daughter, Laurel, a famous actress, is the protagonist who leads us through her search to unravel her mother’s mystery.
Gently weaving between the strands, Morton develops the mystery in a way that gently builds a compulsive yearning to keep reading until you have pulled the strands a part. She also makes it abundantly clear that things are not always as they seem.
This book, like the others, has a positive ending. But you are also left with an unshakable sadness for the characters for whom it didn’t work out, or who are left as you found them. It is real, there are some gritty aspects, but there is also a real appreciation for the beauty of life and love. I’ll be re-reading Morton’s books and I cannot wait for her next.