Good Minds Suggest: Kate Morton's Novels With Memorable Houses

Posted by Goodreads on September 29, 2018
Kate Morton

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Bestselling Australian writer Kate Morton has made a career out of weaving tales about secrets that haunt the characters in her books, including The Forgotten Garden, The Secret Keeper, and The Lake House.

Now in her sixth novel, The Clockmaker's Daughter, she tells a story of murder, mystery, and thievery. It's here that Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, discovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist's sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house called Birchwood Manor. The answer to why the manor seems so familiar to Elodie is hidden 150 years in the past, with a woman who has been forgotten by history but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker's daughter.

As her novel traces the lives of generations who pass through the manor house, Goodreads asked Morton to recommend her favorite novels where a house is nearly a central character in the story. This is her list:

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"Both of these novels, written by sisters, feature houses that harbor deep, dark secrets: Thornfield Hall is said to have been based on North Lees Hall near the village of Hathersage in Yorkshire, while Emily Brontë drew inspiration from Top Withens, a lonely farmhouse weathering on the moors. But perhaps the most fascinating house of all is the real-life Brontë residence, nestled beside a small graveyard in the West Yorkshire village of Haworth."


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"From the very opening of Rebecca, with its killer first line—'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again'—we understand how long and cold a shadow the house has cast across our narrator's life. Manderley, replete with the ghostly imprints of its former mistress, is a wonderful invention, inspired by du Maurier's passion for the real-life Cornish house, Menabilly."


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"When orphan Mary Lennox is sent from India to Misselthwaite Manor on the bleak Yorkshire moors, she is confronted with ancestral paintings that stare at her from the walls, a strange crying in the night, and a secret at the house's core. But elsewhere on the estate, Mary also discovers a walled garden, locked and left to wither, and so begins a story of hope and second chances, in which the fates of a character and her setting become one."


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"This Australian classic is about two families—the Pickles and the Lambs—who, after suffering separate catastrophes, take up residence on opposite sides of a big old house called Cloudstreet in Perth, Western Australia. As we get to know and love both clans, we also grow to adore the sprawling weatherboard house that becomes their shared home and in which their lives weave together over the course of 20 years."


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"Once you've been inside the grimly decaying house at the heart of Great Expectations, you never completely leave. Jilted on her wedding morning, Miss Havisham shuts herself away at Satis House, has all of the clocks stopped, and refuses ever to remove her wedding dress. Tucked inside her once-grand bower with only her adopted daughter, Estella, for company, she begins to spin a web of revenge, into which walks the unsuspecting young orphan boy Pip…"


Want more book recommendations from authors? Check out our Good Minds Suggest series.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 56 (56 new)


message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa The Secret Garden and Rebecca are two of my all time favorite books. I knew I liked Kate Morton for a reason!


Connie Armstrong Very excited to be attending Kate Morton's book signing event in Kansas City next week! Will be getting my copy of The Clockmaker's Daughter at that time.


message 3: by Davina (new)

Davina Davis I've read (and loved) them all but for Cloudstreet, so I just ordered it!!


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Taft The Clockmaker’s Daughter is the first Kate Morton book I’ve read and I loved it! So much so, I am now reading The Forgotten Garden and, at the same time, The Secret Garden! I’m loving both of them and I also really enjoyed Rebecca. Cloudstreet is on my list to read. I was also lucky enough to meet Kate Morton at The Clockmaker’s Daughter - she is lovely and so elegant!


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues) I’m so excited for the release of The Clockmaker’s Daughter. My special edition copy of The House at Riverton is one of my most prized possessions, lol.
I love Kate’s recommendations. I’ve read them all with the exception of Cloudstreet. I’ll need to go and check that out now.


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Bought the clockmaker on Audible the day it was added for a pre-buy. I have all her books on Audio except the first. I have read it from the library and will get it on audio,


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura Powers I have read all of these books and loved them with the exception of Cloudstreet. I just ordered it as well.
thank you for the recommendation!


message 8: by Felinish (new)

Felinish Wow, I’m actually reading cloudstreet right now. Great coincidence 👌🏼 Looking forward to her new book.


message 9: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Couple of my all time favourites - The Secret Garden and Wuthering Heights!


message 10: by Grace (new)

Grace I sent my sister a picture from the old movie Rebecca about 15 minutes ago! Hahahahaha!!


message 11: by Judith (new)

Judith Kaufman I simply adore Rebecca, Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden and the Forgotten Garden! Of course I’ve also read Gone With the Wind....also about a family house! Can’t wait for Clockmaker’s Daughter!


message 12: by Sharon (new)

Sharon George Although I am 46 years old the secret garden is hands down my favorite book ever. Every year on my birthday I take time to enjoy the story once again


message 13: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Nokes What excellent recommendations. It’s no wonder I love Kate Morton’s books. I am excited to read Clockmakers Daughter and Cloudstreet.


message 14: by Anna (new)

Anna Have read great expectations the secret garden andcweithering heights. Loved them all. Have also read all if kate Morton's books


message 15: by Lori A. Duke (new)

Lori A. Duke I will see Kate Morton next week and get my copy of Clockmaker’s Daughter! I very much am looking forward to meeting her! Thanks for the great recommendations!!


message 16: by Kris (new)

Kris Chrzan Jane Eyre is my all time favorite Classic!!!


message 17: by Paige (new)

Paige Bennett Jane Eyre and Rebecca are my two favorites of all time. Great Expectations is my favorite Dickens novel. I have not read Cloudstreet, but I am thinking I need to And of course I am anxiously waiting for the Clockmaker's Daughter.


message 18: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Withers Jane Eyre, Rebecca and The Secret Garden are 3 of my favorites! Similar taste in books I will definitely get my copy of the Clockmaker’s Daughter.


message 19: by Bev (new)

Bev Amanda wrote: "The Clockmaker’s Daughter is the first Kate Morton book I’ve read and I loved it! So much so, I am now reading The Forgotten Garden and, at the same time, The Secret Garden! I’m loving both of them..."

Glad you enjoyed the book. I have read every book of Kate Morton’s and strongly recommend you read her previous books, especially The shifting Fog.


message 20: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Rose The Clockmakers Daughter is a stunning novel,,A brilliant,and moving story of a house and the benefactions who lived there .I adore all Kate Morton’s books and this is her usual brilliance


message 21: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Rose That last post should have said generations of people ,who all have an attraction to the house


message 22: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Griffin Oh my gosh - you have to read Bless this House by Norah Lofts, if you haven't already.


message 23: by Nora (new)

Nora Isaac Miller I’ve read Rebecca and seen the movie. Love it. This and Jane Eyre my old time favourites oh and I’ve read the secret Garden and saw the play just beautiful. Time to re-read them all again.


message 24: by Siv (new)

Siv Gaby I've read them all except for Cloudstreet (I'll put it on my bucket list). They are all amazing novels, rich in meaning and with memorable characters. Everyone should read them. It is a life experience, a lesson, a glimpse into human emotions.


message 25: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Modschiedler The Secret Garden is my all time favourite with Jane Eyre a close second. Going to take a look at Cloudstreet now. Thanks!!


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim Absolutely loved 'Cloudstreet' (probably Tim Winton's best novel for me) and 'Rebecca'.
Another with a house as a strong character is 'The Little Stranger' by Sarah Waters - just seen the film of this and reminded me of the book which I read about 9 years ago!


message 27: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Three of my favourite books on this list, I've read Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden so many times, sometimes to children. I love Rebecca too. The others are ideas to explore. Thank you.


message 28: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Taft Bev wrote: "Amanda wrote: "The Clockmaker’s Daughter is the first Kate Morton book I’ve read and I loved it! So much so, I am now reading The Forgotten Garden and, at the same time, The Secret Garden! I’m lovi..."

Thanks I think I’m going to work my way through them all!!


message 29: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Taft Melanie wrote: "Oh my gosh - you have to read Bless this House by Norah Lofts, if you haven't already."

I’ve read Norah Lofts trilogy The Town House - super enjoyed them so will definitely look out for this one! So many books to read... 😃


message 30: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Taft Melanie wrote: "Oh my gosh - you have to read Bless this House by Norah Lofts, if you haven't already."
Melanie! I just realised I have this book in a big Norah Lofts book called The Best of Norah Lofts!! It has Jassy, Bless this House, Scent of Cloves and How Far to Bethlehem - so excited! I found this book on Amazon it’s a 1979 edition!


message 31: by Ani (new)

Ani Prieto I am so exited to read The Clocksmaker 's Daughter! The digital version for Latinamerica will be available on Oct. 9. I've read all Kate Morton's book and although I have my favorites I love them all. Thank you for the recommendation.


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan I loved the Lake House, and have read all the recommended ones except for Cloudstreet.


message 33: by Kim (new)

Kim Russell I've read them all love them all except for Cloudstreet, which I will add to my list.


message 34: by Linda (new)

Linda Gail I have read three of her books and enjoyed them so much. I did not know she had written 6. Anxiously awaiting Clockmakers Daughter..


message 35: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Rasimas I love Kate Morton's books! I am looking forward to reading it.


message 36: by Jessica (last edited Oct 06, 2018 08:52PM) (new)

Jessica King YASSSSS on houses as central characters!!!! Thank you, Kate!

I would add Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles.


message 37: by J. (new)

J. Walker I was half expecting Virginia Woolf to appear on this list. Virginia always had a thing about houses, which kitten figure prominently in her novels.


message 38: by Peg (new)

Peg Younger Only 1 I haven’t read....Cloudstreet....which will go on my wishlist 😊


message 39: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Not a big fan of Jane Eyre, but a recent convert to Rebecca, thanks to my sister's recommendation. Loved it. Cloudstreet is good, but a very different style to the others. I have just downloaded The Secret Garden and am looking forward to reading that. I have seen the movie but felt that I need the gaps filled in with the book.


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message 41: by Di (new)

Di Rebecca is my favorite book of all time.I read it the summer of my junior year in high school at the beach. This book started my love of reading as a grown up. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”


message 42: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Read I've read all but one of those. Some of my favourite books.


message 43: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Whitebread Have read all of Kate's books, loved everyone . Beginning Clockmaker's Daughter tonight. It is currently 10:00 pm. No telling what time I will go to sleep. Every time I start one of her books it is impossible to put down. I Have read all the books on list many years ago in high school years. I have not read Cloudstreet. Will make time to check it out. Also currently reading Dracul by Dacre Stoker really enjoying, but it will probably take a backburner. I usually real multiple books at one time, but not when I pick up one of Kate Morton's books. I was so excited when I read months ago she was working on something new. I am sure it will not fail.


message 44: by Liz (new)

Liz I recommend The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware.


message 45: by Gordana (new)

Gordana I anxiously wait every year for her new book to come out. Love her writing. Have my copy of Clockmaker’s Daughter


message 46: by Thebrook78 (new)

Thebrook78 I love and have read and reread all these books but Cloudstreet. May I add The Diary of Anne Frank? Though it's not a "great house" the Secret Annex is a central part of this book, and is so painstakingly portrayed that when I visited it in Amsterdam for the first time, I felt deeply as if I'd already been there.


message 47: by Philip (new)

Philip Doyle I would add "Brideshead Revisited" to the list; the house is almost a character in the story as well as being the physical link that brings the elements of the story together.


message 48: by Annabella (new)

Annabella Bray For all you Americans you haven't read Cloudstreet, I highly recommend it plus any other Tim Winton books- he is one of our best Aussie authors.


message 49: by Linda (new)

Linda Hargest the Lake House was my first and have read them all since.
Lake house by far the best in my opinion . Have the clock maker's daughter on reserve at the library


message 50: by Missaschmidt (new)

Missaschmidt I would have to add Morton's own novel, The Distant Hours, to this list. I can't wait to read the new novel!


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