The book picks up years later when Laurel is an adult and her mother, Dorothy, is in the hospital, with limited days left to live.
The Secret Keeper flashes back and forth between present-day and Dorothy’s past in pre–WWII England. You would think that a book that begins with a murder would rope me in immediately, but it took me a while to feel fully invested in The Secret Keeper. After the murder in the beginning of the book, I kept waiting for something else to happen. Though I liked Laurel and was anxious to see what clues she might uncover during her detective work, I found myself much more interested in the flashback stories surrounding Dorothy, Jimmy and Vivien. While the book was slow at first, I began to come around to Kate Morton’s descriptive language and “slow reveal” style of writing as I read. Once Vivien’s true character was revealed, the book really got moving and I couldn’t put it down. Did you prefer following Laurel’s story or the stories surrounding Dorothy, Jimmy and Vivien?
I totally agree – I really started to dislike Dorothy and become much more interested in Vivien, especially after the section about her childhood in Australia! I liked Dorothy for a short while… but during the whole second half of the book I was pretty turned off by her. I used your Honey Goat Cheese Dip recipe for a little Superbowl party I had last night and it was a HUGE success!
Then, I turned the pages and learned the twist of all twist endings, and my jaw was on the floor!
From the safety and seclusion of the family tree house, 16-year-old Laurel witnesses her mother commit a horrific crime that is completely uncharacteristic of the woman that raised Laurel with love and tenderness.

Laurel begins to wonder about the crime she witnessed so many years ago and begins to do some detective work of her own to get to the bottom of the secret that has stayed with her for so many years.
As a young woman, Dorothy’s life is intertwined with the lives of Jimmy and Vivien, two people whose stories help slowly reveal the motive behind the heinous crime Dorothy committed years later. Kate Morton takes time to develop her characters by providing a lot of backstory and she is clearly a fan of descriptive imagery. I thought she was vivacious, imaginative, passionate and a bit naive, but extremely endearing. The backstory that felt menial in the beginning of the book proved important as the story went on. I sat up in bed, flipping through the pages until the twist of all twists occurred at the very end. I really tried to Julie but I am not that into slow books, they have to rope me in right away or I get bored really easily. I just downloaded it onto my Kindle, so hopefully the slow start doesn’t completely put me off of the rest of the reading. I’m Julie and I am a new mom, personal trainer and blogger living in Charlotte, North Carolina. While this allowed me to fully understand the characters and paint a fabulous picture in my mind of London in the 1940s, it also made the book truck along a little slowly at first. The book is long, but once I made it through the first quarter of the book, it really picked up. As Vivien’s character developed and Dorothy became more and more enamored with Vivien and her wealthy lifestyle, my feelings toward Dorothy shifted rather dramatically.
I loved wondering whether or not Vivien was truly a good person and enjoyed the element of mystery that surrounded her story.

I definitely didn’t see the final twist coming and loved that Kate Morton weaved such an intricate and detailed story without revealing something so monumental until the very end. It seemed like she had been a really great and involved mom so I thought maybe the tragic event the author kept referring to had sparked a drastic change. Instead I read We Need To Talk About Kevin and I definitely suggest this for your next book discussion it is so good and a bit of a disturbing read which I surprisingly enjoyed.
I didn’t like Dorothy too, even when she was a teenager, because she was so selfcentered (Jimmy must know and predict all her thoughts and wishes).
I totally missed the canceled stamp significance in the book – can anyone explain it to me?
I found her whiney and wanted to tell her to snap out of it and recognize the amazing love Jimmy had for her and appreciate and embrace it. I hope you enjoy little glimpses into my life and have fun trying the sweaty workouts I frequently share and making some of my favorite recipes along the way! I couldn’t understand how the young woman that was being described had turned into a mother who said such sweet things to her children. Peanut Butter Fingers follows my life and my interests in food, fitness, family, travel and (mostly) healthy living. I was completely surprised by the ending, but very happily so because it resolved all of my frustrations!

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