There is an old adage that is absolutely true, but hard to avoid. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Every time I go to the library or to a book store I forget about this admonition and begin to judge books by their covers willy-nilly. It is really really hard not to judge books by their covers. Have you ever noticed this about yourself?
Last week I made a quick trip to the library. It was so quick that I literally pulled a few books off the shelf, looked at the covers, read the blurb, and stuff them in my bag to check them out. So far I have been enjoying them. My favorite of those books so far is The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.
So, don’t laugh at me. I’ve never heard of Kate Morton before but apparently she’s a New York Times Bestseller for her previous books. I fully intend on checking out her other books now. Anyway…
In 1961 sixteen year old Laurel witnesses her mother kill a stranger who walked up to her and said her name. After her mother claims self-defense it is pretty much swept aside as unimportant. But it haunts Laurel for the rest of her years. She feels that there is more to the story, but cannot bring herself to ask her mother. Fifty years later, as her mother lays dying, Laurel decides to investigate what really happened so long ago.
The Secret Keeper is really stories within a story, and those stories combine at the end in an unexpected and beautiful way. I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. I felt drawn to Dorothy, the mother, and ended up detesting Dorothy, the single woman. I identified with Laurel as she struggled to reconcile the truth she was finding to the mother she had always known.
The stories of this novel are so beautifully intertwined for such a splendid read that I would recommend The Secret Keeper to anyone. There is some language, and one or two adult scenes but thankfully the bedroom doors remained closed in this book. Some of the action takes place during WWII and there are a few dark themes explored through the characters and action. None of it is gratuitous, however, and is central to the storyline and character development.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of Kate Morton’s books.