The Secret Keeper and Storytellers

December 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

secret-keeperTitle: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.


Click to read another blogger’s review.

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.

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When Readers Watch TV

September 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm (Reviews, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I read incessantly.  When I’m not reading I go on literary-like adventures.  And when I’m doing neither of those things, like a sack of potatoes I will sit and watch a whole season of a TV show in one sitting.  It is my favorite not feeling well activity.  Why? Because I am obsessed with stories.

My most recent TV binge was the first season of Revenge, available on Hulu.

Remember that sweet girl from that show Everwood? Well, she’s all grown up playing a devious and manipulative woman who was severely wronged by a powerful group of people.  Moral of the story so far, don’t conspire to put a girl’s dad in prison and then have him killed – she’ll get pissed and make you suffer.

When I saw the ads for the show, I thought they looked cheesy and I wasn’t all that interested.  There comes a time in every person’s life, though, when they feel lothargic and just want to sit in front of the boob tube.  Hulu paraded Revenge in front of me, and I said “Why not?”

While watching it, I discovered that the writer’s have done an excellent job lacing several time frames, a huge conspiracy, and a huge cast of characters together into the perfect onion.  It reminded me of reading a Kate Morton novel without the pitter patter of a swoony and inevitable love story, like reading Elizabeth George’s Believing the Lie but with a more cohesive and linear tale.  I am shockingly riveted with the characters, and most of them are awful people, but they are believeable in their awfulness.

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