The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton Summary Study Guide

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Dolly Smitham: Dolly Smitham is a crazy stuck up lady who has delusions that she's an aristocrat when in reality she's just a servant to an old fat lady named Lady Gwendolyn. She lives in London during World War II which is dangerous because of air raids by the Germans. Dolly is a maid for the aristocratic Lady G but imagines that Lady G cares about her and also imagines she is friends with a rich lady named Vivien. A guy named Jimmy comes around to bone Dolly every once in a while, and begs her to marry him, but she puts him off because he isn't rich enough. Then when Dolly imagine that Vivien has slighted her, Dolly goes for revenge. By the way, sometimes in this book she is called Dorothy and sometimes Dolly, and sometimes Vivien. Confused? We've only begun.

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Vivien Jenkins: Vivien is a rich lady who Dolly imagines is her friend but they don't really know each other. Vivien gets smacked around by her husband Henry, and wishes that Jimmy (see below) could bone her. She's actually a nice lady, giving Dolly money even though Dolly tried unsuccessfully to blackmail her.


Jimmy: Jimmy is Dolly's working-class boyfriend. She likes him but looks down on him because he is lower class. By the way Dolly is lower class too, but she is a social climber. She loves controlling Jimmy and treats him like a toy or a pet. Jimmy is in love with Dolly and wants to marry her. Good luck with that.


Laurel: Laurel is Dolly's daughter. As a kid she sees Dolly murder Henry Jenkins, and then as a grownup we watch her muse for 200 pages, "I wonder why Mom killed that guy?"


Lady Gwendolyn: Lady G. is the old lady who Dolly works for as a maid. Dolly thinks that Lady G. is crazy about her, and is disappointed that she, Dolly, the maid, doesn't inherit money when Lady G. dies. By the way, the name Lady Gwendolyn looks a lot like Lady Groin. Coincidence? I don't think so.

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