Title:The Secret Keeper
Author: Kate Morton
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction/ Historical Fiction
Length: 484 pages
I broke my Kate Morton rule. I read TWO Kate Morton novels in a 12 month period. And it was wonderful.
Forget my previously mentioned warnings to space out her books as long as it takes her to write them. This was a perfect winter read, she sucked me in – as always – and I found myself thinking it was her best piece since The Forgotten Garden. Don’t I say that every time?
I don’t just love Kate Morton as a reader, I find her inspiring as a writer. When everyone else is diving into NaNoWrMo – something I signed up for, but just really don’t get – I dive into Kate Morton and find that’s the push I need to get my own stories out of my head. (Same goes for Stephen King, that man really pushes my buttons and moves me to write.)
Semi side note: Is it just me or is NaNoWrMo distracting as all get out. I write 2k words a day on average – granted, not all usable, obviously – but every time I open an email for NaNoWrMo I find myself reading and sifting through a bunch of stuff and not getting ANY writing done at all. It’s fake motivation for me. It’s a complete and utter distraction. Like going to a pep rally. I’m more excited for a football game when I’m at the football game, but if you push me through the noise of a pep rally I just don’t feel like going anymore. SO counter productive.
You really want to be motivated to write? Read a good book. Read a really good book. Find someone who just moves you and you can’t help but think – I want to do that. Not exactly that, mind you, I want to write my own stuff. But I want to get a story out that moves people the way I’ve just been moved. Or excites people the way I’ve just been excited. The best motivation for a storyteller, I think, is to hear/read a good story.
Kate Morton’s stories are always good. No, not good, GREAT. She weaves through time with the skill of a T.A.R.D.I.S. and the hearts of a TimeLord. She is always a master of her chosen histories and reveals stories with an onion layer effect that always makes me giddy. The best moment of every one of her books is the, “I knew it!” moment. I love that she feeds you all the details but somehow leaves you thinking she might just surprise you – even though you don’t want to be surprised because you need to be right about this one detail that has dropped bread crumbs all over the story but hasn’t outright made itself obvious.
Even more than that, though, is Morton’s uncanny ability in every novel to write a character that feels so overly familiar to me. Or, if not familiar, someone I want to be familiar. The Secret Keeper had a lot of familiar faces from my real world.