Recently I read The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Morton is one of my favorite authors, so I always purchase her books rather than checking them out from the library. She is the queen of plots steeped in intriguing family secrets, and I truly love her stories.
Laurel Nicholson is England's most beloved actress. She had recently placed second in "The Nation's Favorite Face" poll, and could basically get any role she wanted. But now she must play the dutiful daughter and eldest sister due to her mom's failing health. Laurel returns to her family's rural Suffolk farmhouse along with her three younger sisters to care for their mother Dorothy during her final days.
Laurel has kept a secret from her siblings for a very long time. During a family creekside birthday party, sixteen year old Laurel escapes to her treehouse to daydream about a boy and becoming an actress. Her mother returns to the house to retrieve a cake knife when Laurel witnesses her mother kill a man in cold blood with said knife. Laurel is stunned and goes into shock: How could her nurturing and vivacious mother commit such a crime?
The answers to these questions can be found in the past, in London, during the blitz. Most of the novel's story is centered around Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy: three people whose lives would forever be altered due to a misunderstanding and a direct hit from a bomb. Their story will keep you reading until late at night, trust me. An added bonus to the plot is that Laurel could easily quit her day job as an actress and become a detective. Her ability to piece together her mother's story using clues from the past is fantastic. The Secret Keeper's ending is shocking, and I'm fairly certain it will make my Best of 2012 list.