You know those times when you just want to gush about a favourite book or author, for no reason other than the joy of talking about something you love? Well, today’s blog is one of those times: today, I will be sharing my love for Kate Morton.
The idea of having two connected stories running concurrently, one in the present and one in the past, is a popular one. I’ve certainly read quite a few novels that are written in this way and I’ve enjoyed most of them. The problem I have, however, is that there is inevitably one strand of the story that I find more interesting than the other, and all too often I find myself rushing through the less engaging storyline, impatient to get back to the one that’s really gripped me. What I love about Kate Morton is that she manages to make me invest equally in both the historical and modern day elements. In her novels, connections between past and present don’t just exist for the purposes of constructing a story – as a reader you get the feeling that the link is genuine and powerful, and events from decades ago make their mark not only on people but places too. That sense of a place being alive with history is perhaps what I love most about her books. I can still walk around The Distant Hours’ Milderhurst Castle and feel the uneasy weight of a house humming with the latent energy of turbulent times gone by. Riverton House with its ominous lake, the garden hiding Blackhurst Manor’s many secrets… not just vividly realised backdrops but places with soul, as if they’ve absorbed the loves, betrayals and heartbreaks of everyone who’s passed through them down the years.
A Kate Morton novel is the literary equivalent of a slice of chocolate cake: a satisfying wodge of delicious indulgence. Easy to read but substantial enough to really engage your interest, they’re the perfect afternoon-under-a-blanket-with-a-cup-of-tea read.