Hardcover, 481 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Atria
In 1961, at a family birthday party, sixteen year old Laurel witnesses a strange encounter between a man and her mother that will become a heavy secret for years and years. Fast forward to 2011 when Laurel comes home to visit her dying mother. Finding an old photo from 1941 and listening to her mother's ramblings become clues to a mystery from her mother's past that Laurel feels compelled to solve."It suddenly seemed to Laurel that all the absence in her own life, every loss and sadness, every unexplained melancholy, took the shadowy form of the same unanswered question:something that had been there since she was sixteen years old-- her mother's unspoken secret."
The plot segues seamlessly between 1941, 1961 and 2011 as told alternately by Laurel and Dorothy. Never once did I feel like I was yanked out of one timeframe and abruptly thrust into another. Morton's writing is smooth as silk and just as luxurious. I've read reviews that say she is a little wordy. I disagree. I love the way she puts me in the scene and makes me aware of all the surroundings.Who are you, Dorothy?" she said beneath her breath, "Who were you, before you became Ma?"
Morton has the ability to draw me into her world immediately and keeps my interest in the plot and characters invested at all times. In every one of her books there has been a "twist" that I didn't see coming. I've now read every book Kate Morton has written and loved them all. The Secret Keeper is my second favorite one just a shade behind The Distant Hours, most likely my favorite read of 2012. 4.5****
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Netgalley/Atria in exchange for my honest opinion.