Kate Morton


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Kate Morton

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Born
Berri, Australia
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August 2015


KATE MORTON grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and now lives with her family in London and Australia. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, and harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she realised that it was words she loved more than performing. Kate still feels a pang of longing each time she goes to the theatre and the house lights dim.

"I fell deeply in love with books as a child and believe that reading is freedom; that to read is to live a thousand lives in one; that fiction is a magical conversation between two people - you and me - in which our minds meet across time and space. I love books that conjure a world around me, bringing their characters and settings to life, so that
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Kate Morton Thanks for your lovely note, Cheryl -- I especially love that you used the verb 'weaving', because that's just what it feels like when I'm writing. I'…moreThanks for your lovely note, Cheryl -- I especially love that you used the verb 'weaving', because that's just what it feels like when I'm writing. I'm deep in edit on another book at the moment (which happens to be the part of the process that most resembles weaving, as all of the threads are loosened and stitched back together in a tighter, more pleasing way) and will have news very soon. Happy reading in the meantime, Kate (less)
Kate Morton Thanks for your lovely comment, Lizabeth! There are so many vital elements in a good story (plot... character... setting...!), but I think one of most…moreThanks for your lovely comment, Lizabeth! There are so many vital elements in a good story (plot... character... setting...!), but I think one of most important is sense of place. At least, it is for me. When I was a very young child and had just started reading for myself, I used to lose myself completely in the world of my book. I still chase that feeling when I'm reading and when I'm writing.

At the very beginning of a project, when I'm working with my notebooks, scribbling down ideas, researching, and letting the story come to life in my imagination, one of the aspects I'm keenest to discover is the world in which the action takes place. The setting is part of it, but it’s more than that, too: it’s a texture, a flavour, an atmosphere. I need the world to feel vivid and real and dense—the sort of place in which you and I can both become lost.

I can’t actually begin writing until I reach this point. It’s a matter of truth, I suppose. If the book feels flimsy or pretend, I lose faith in it very quickly. I have an idea, too, that unless the book feels real for me, I won’t be able to convey the sense of being transported to you, which is my greatest aim as a writer! Once I finally get there, though, the drive to start writing is so strong I can’t resist it. (This period of dreaming and imagining is one of my favourite parts of being a writer, by the way -- it's a bit like being a child. Free and unbounded play!)
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Average rating: 4.02 · 689,607 ratings · 70,764 reviews · 21 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Forgotten Garden

4.13 avg rating — 197,221 ratings — published 2008 — 150 editions
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The Secret Keeper

4.13 avg rating — 140,636 ratings — published 2012 — 111 editions
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The House at Riverton

3.94 avg rating — 106,168 ratings — published 2006 — 152 editions
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The Lake House

4.05 avg rating — 100,428 ratings — published 2015 — 98 editions
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The Distant Hours

3.88 avg rating — 68,268 ratings — published 2010 — 120 editions
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The Clockmaker's Daughter

3.72 avg rating — 75,461 ratings — published 2018 — 86 editions
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Kate Morton Collection: The...

4.46 avg rating — 659 ratings — published 2006 — 2 editions
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The Kate Morton Collection:...

4.47 avg rating — 429 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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We Were From the Mountains

3.87 avg rating — 119 ratings
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Wanderlust: A Book Club Sam...

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3.47 avg rating — 79 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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More books by Kate Morton…

Fiction: At Home on the River Bend

In late 2019, I was asked by the Museum of Brisbane to contribute a story to an exhibition they were planning called The Storytellers, in which they proposed to feature short pieces of writing by local authors corresponding with various inner-city suburbs of Brisbane. I believe that sense of place is integral to stories and was drawn to the opportunity to dig deeper into a location that I’d known

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Published on February 05, 2021 18:34

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In Kate Morton's sixth novel, The Clockmaker's Daughter , she tells a story of murder, mystery, and thievery. It's here that Elodie Winslow, a...
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Kate’s Recent Updates

Kate Morton wrote a new blog post

The B&N Podcast: The Allure of the Past

When I was in NYC for The Clockmaker’s Daughter book tour, I had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Tipper for the Barnes & Noble podcast. We chatted Read more of this blog post »
More of Kate's books…
“It is a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to be evaporate into the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down....”
Kate Morton, The House at Riverton

“You make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing.”
Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

“Memory is a cruel mistress with whom we all must learn to dance.”
Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

Polls

Help us pick Nothing but Reading Challenges' December Anything Goes Book of the Month from among the books our members nominated. Also, please note this is the first month members can use the Power Votes. For more information check out this post: Banking Voting Power Points: The Rules

The House At Riverton by Kate Morton
The House At Riverton by Kate Morton

Book synopsis:
Summer 1924

On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999

Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories - long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind - begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House at Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story.
 
  15 votes 19.5%

Breed by Chase Novak
Breed by Chase Novak

Book synopsis:
Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.
 
  15 votes 19.5%

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Book Synopsis:
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what's been missing in her life. And when she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
 
  8 votes 10.4%

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Book Synopsis:
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.
 
  8 votes 10.4%

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

Book Synopsis:
Bellamy Lyston Price was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene as well as her memory of one vital fact that still eludes her...

Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a novel based on Susan's murder. It's her first book, and it's an instant sensation. But because the novel is based on the most traumatic event of her life, she's published it under a pseudonym to protect herself and her family.

But when a sleazy reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on a real crime, Bellamy's identity - and dark family secrets -- are exposed. Suddenly, she finds herself embroiled in a personal conflict and at the mercy of her sister's killer, who for almost two decades has gotten away with murder...and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
 
  6 votes 7.8%

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Book Synopsis:
San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. Gripping, tragic, and densely atmospheric, Snow Falling on Cedars is a masterpiece of suspense - one that leaves us shaken and changed.

"Haunting.... A whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence and at the same time a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper." -Los Angeles Times

"Compelling...heartstopping. Finely wrought, flawlessly written." -The New York Times Book Review
 
  6 votes 7.8%

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Book synopsis:
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
 
  6 votes 7.8%

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
The Christmas List by
Richard Paul Evans

Book synopsis:
Dear Reader,

When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don't remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn't considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson's assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family's holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I don't know how many times I've seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-a schoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas
 
  5 votes 6.5%

Night Over Water by Ken Follett
Night Over Water by Ken Follett

Book synopsis:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett takes to the skies in this classic novel of international suspense. Set in the early days of World War II, Night over Water captures the daring and desperation of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances—in prose as compelling as history itself. September 1939. England is at war with Nazi Germany. In Southampton, the world’s most luxurious airliner—the legendary Pan Am clipper—takes off for its final flight to neutral America. Aboard are the cream of society and the dregs of humanity, all fleeing the war for reasons of their own…shadowed by a danger they do not know exists…and heading straight into a storm of violence, intrigue, and betrayal…
 
  4 votes 5.2%

Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Book synopsis:
The New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage.

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.
 
  4 votes 5.2%

77 total votes
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