[Yes, I realize that “awesomer” is not a word, but it works here.]
Back in the spring, I read a book for a book discussion that has become my (latest) go-to recommendation for just about everyone. It is rare that I enjoy a book thoroughly (and by that I mean every aspect of the book—its story, its characters, and its writing) that I recommend it to practically everyone who asks me for a reading suggestion. This time is was The Secret Keeper by Australian author Kate Morton (no relation to the great Steve Morton that I am aware of).
I don’t want to talk about the book too much because I don’t want to give anything away, and there is a lot to give away. But here are the basics: it’s a historical fiction book/mystery that goes back and forth in time, between the present day, the 1960s, and the 1930s. (Fear not, however; you will not be lost as to which decade you’re in while reading.) The story unfolds from Laurel’s perception, and the reader learns of what happened so long ago just as she does.
Morton grabs your attention from the very first page until the very last, never leaving any questions unanswered in the end. In addition to a great story, the writing is just impeccable, in my opinion—so thorough and detailed and complete. I’m not usually a historical fiction/mystery kind of girl—I will read historical fiction or mysteries, especially if it’s recommended, but neither are my go-to genres. However, I’m so glad I read it. I enjoyed it so much that I was sad to see it end. Months later, I still think about this book, its story, and its characters often. (I may have to go back and read it a second time, knowing what I know about the story now.)
Most people (in my experience, anyway), when looking for a book recommendation, will ask for something that will grab their attention, keep them absorbed, and doesn’t have a ton of sex or violence or vulgarity. You can find plenty of that in many other titles. But this book just stands out as a good solid book that I recommend it to everyone who asks (assuming they like historical fiction or mysteries). Everyone who I’ve recommended it to liked it just as much as I did.
When preparing for my book discussion, I poked around on Kate Morton’s website and found the video that she posted on her inspiration for the book. It was at that point that I fell in love with her more. She describes the book much better than I ever could (obviously), but she also shows how she writes and edits her work.
She uses a ton of sticky notes and notebooks, people! She does use a computer, but that’s only at the end. Her creative ideas are put down in notebooks, and her edits happen on sticky notes. While the video is linked from her website, it is a touch hidden. So here’s a direct link. Awesome!
I haven’t yet read any of her other books, but they are on my (huge) booklist. If you’re looking for a great book to read, I highly recommend The Secret Keeper. If you read it, let me know what you think.
**Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Ms. Morton or her book. All opinions are my own.**