The Secret Keeper is filled with intriguing characters and vividly describes the conditions in London during the time of the Blitz in World War II era London and beyond into the 1960s and the present. It is a book filled with secrets that are gradually discovered throughout the course of the book. It will make you wonder just how well you really know your own family.
It begins in 1960 when 16-year old Laurel is in her childhood tree house dreaming of the future. It is a special occasion for her family as it is her younger brother Gerry’s second birthday. She thinks about her crush who has just given her a play to read. Her sisters want her to come down and finish the game of hide and seek they were playing and have some of their mother’s special birthday cake but she decides to stay hidden in the treehouse. It is from that vantage point that she witnesses the arrival of a man that her mother clearly recognizes and sees her stab him with the birthday knife with the red ribbon.
This crime has haunted Laurel for the past 50 years as she left the family home to become one of Great Britain’s most beloved actresses. Her mother is almost 90 and dying in the hospital so she sees this as the perfect opportunity to figure out what really happened that day and why her mother was so frightened to see him. By delving into the family attic and documents found in various libraries she is able to piece together the story of her mother and who her mother was involved with during the war. What she finds changes the way she perceives her mother forever.
The book alternates between Laurel’s perspective, her mother’s perspective, and the perspective of her mother’s sometimes friend Vivian. Through her mother’s and Vivian’s perspective the connection between the two is revealed and comes as quite a shock to Laurel and her brother Gerry who has agreed to help with the investigation.
The Secret Keeper is a novel filled with plot twists and characters that aren’t easy to forget. Even for those who may not consider themselves history buffs may find themselves wrapped up in this book trying to solve the mysteries of Laurel’s mother’s past as well.