Kate Morton – The Queen of Historical Fiction


Today I found out that Kate Morton is publishing her sixth book in September (!!!) and, so I thought it was about time I did an appreciation post about all of the reasons why I absolutely love her books and why everyone should read them.

I am staring at you from the other side of the screen.
I am silently urging you to read these books and judging you because you haven’t yet….*

So I think I need to include a little backstory here about how I became obsessed with Kate’s writing.
So back in 2009 I read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and absolutely fell in love with the Gothic undertones in her writing. Thus, began my hunt to find a book similar to Diane’s masterpiece.
At the time I din’t have my Goodreads account so I resorted to Amazon and found The House at Riverton listed in the “frequently bought together” section. I searched all of the local bookstores at the time and failed to find myself a copy.

Fast forward to 2013 when I finally found a thrifted copy of “The House at Riverton” and a brand new copy of “The Secret Keeper” from a local bookstore (*they finally ended up stocking them after I pestered them for six months straight*) and before I knew it I was down the rabbit hole of the wonderous world of Historical Fiction…

It was like falling in love.
Needless to say, I saved my pocket money and acquired all of her remaining titles last year and had a wonderful time binge reading them.
Now I’m eagerly anticipating her new book (The Clockmaker’s Daughter // September 2018)!

Wishing Kate all the best for her upcoming title!

Now, a few prominent features that make her books a must-buy for me are:

Strong female leads – it’s so wonderfully refreshing to have female protagonists in books that don’t conform to the set standard of what women can and cannot do. Even though at times they may be deeply flawed they still successfully make me wonder why they act the way they do and, that alone keeps me invested in the story line.

The wonderful way her stories are intricately weaved within the past and the present and seamlessly flow throughout – let me tell you that is no small feat. When I read her books I don’t feel like the transitions are forced upon the reader, it feels very natural in its execution and doesn’t bore me at all.

The perfect plot – I am never fully able to guess what will happen next with her books and that is true for all of them. I clearly like a challenge when it comes to guessing how a plot will progress and Kate never disappoints!

The supporting cast of characters is never dull – I can’t emphasise the large amount of books I’ve read that have limp vegetables for the supporting cast. I like all of the characters in a book to be as realistic and as intriguing as the protagonist and not mere bystanders that are unable to form coherent thoughts by themselves without input from the main lead. A fleshed out cast makes for a highly entertaining book and that stands true for all of the characters she writes.

Lastly, I’d like to include some of my favourite quotes from each book – listed in the sequence in which they were read:

1) The House at Riverton
Date Published: 15th June 2007
Date Read: 9th June 2013
My Rating: 4/5

“I sound contemptuous, but I am not. I am interested-intrigued even-by the way time erases real lives, leaving only vague imprints. Blood and spirit fade away so that only names and dates remain.”

2) The Secret Keeper
Date Published: 9th October 2012
Date Read: 29th October 2016
My Rating: 5/5

“It is queer, but my love and longing for the world are always deepened by my absence from it; it’s wondrous, don’t you think, that a person can swing from despair to gleeful hunger, and that even during these dark days there is happiness to be found in the smallest things?”

3) The Distant Hours
Date Published: 9th November 2010
Date Read: 25th July 2017
My Rating: 4/5

“For it is said, you know, that a letter will always seek a reader; that sooner or later, like it or not, words have a way of finding the light, of making their secrets known.”

4) The Lake House
Date Published: 20th October 2015
Date Read: 23rd June 2017
My Rating: 5/5

“You always presume there’s time ahead, until one day you realize there isn’t.”

5) The Forgotten Garden
Date Published: 1st June 2008
Date Read: 9th November 2017
My Rating: 5/5

“You must learn to know the difference between tales and the truth, my Liza, she would say. Fairy tales have a habit of ending too soon. They never show what happens afterwards when the prince and princess ride off the page.”

Now I know what you’re thinking… WHICH BOOK DO I READ FIRST ?!
ALL OF THEM obviously!
You can’t read just one.
definitely not.
You have to read all of them and then (maybe) you can pick out a favourite…

Author: zoeymuses

BIBLIOPHILE / #BOOKSTAGRAMMER / BOOK REVIEWER / BOOKTUBER blog: zoeymusesaboutbooks.wordpress.com instagram: @zoeymuses.aboutbooks twitter: @zoeymusesabtbks booktube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw1s3rYhgJ59qmP3Z8PipXg

4 thoughts on “Kate Morton – The Queen of Historical Fiction”

  1. You’ve convinced me. I have never been a big historical fiction fan but I love the idea of women characters not doing what society scripts for them. What novel of Kate’s do you suggest I start with?


    1. Thank you Becca😘
      Which Kate Morton book is your favourite?
      Or if you haven’t read any of them yet, which one are you most likely to be reading first?!


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