If I want a guaranteed really good read I always reach for a Kate Morton. Since coming across her back in 2007 when The House at Riverton was first published I have eagerly anticipated every new book. The Forgotten Garden followed in 2008, before I had to wait patiently for The Distant Hours in 2011, which was thankfully quickly followed up by The Secret Keeper published in 2012. They all follow a similar formula of a modern day character somehow connected to a mystery from the past, with the story flicking between the two. I always hugely enjoy them and then almost immediately forget what they were about.
The Forgotten Garden is a favourite for me. I love the sensitive way the story of a woman in her 90s is told, and her journey back from Australia to Cornwall to put to rest ghosts from her earlier life. It also appeals to me as the modern day character is a granddaughter trying to uncover secrets from her grandmother’s past. I love reading the letters my grandfather (now in his late 90s) has recently given me from the second world war and thinking about uncovering the stories around them. The Distant Hours is also a gripping tale about the impact of world war two on evacuee children and the misunderstanding between family members that arise when the children are sent away.
I finished The Secret Keeper right before Christmas and it’s perfect to read these at a time of year when you know you will be uninterrupted for a few hours and can immerse yourself completely and stay up late to finish them. It’s the best of the lot and starts with a childhood trauma and a search to uncover the truth before it’s too late. The characters and places are all vividly described and I loved reading about wartime London as its streets were brought back to life. There is also a fantastic twist that I didn’t see coming at all.
I’d really recommend Kate Morton for easy and really enjoyable escapism.