Favourite writing style: Kate Morton

Since I’m tired of writing only reviews and wrap-ups, I’ve decided to start a series of posts where I’ll be talking about my favourite authors regarding their styles of writing. Besides the story and the plot line, writing style is something I highly value in a book and I tend to prefer more lyrical styles of writing though that is not always the case.

So the first name that popped into my head when I started thinking about this post, was Kate Morton. She writes historical fiction and her books always contain two or even three stories set in different eras and the narrative skips from one time period to the other. Five of books of hers have been published and they are (in cronological order of publication) The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper and The Lake House.

She did as she felt, and she felt a great deal.

Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

If I had to pick my favourite I’d go with The Forgotten Garden simply because it was the first book of hers that truly impressed me and left me literally breathless. It’s one of those books that has stayed with me ever since I finished reading it. I was equally impressed by The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper, they were both equisite.

So why do I adore Kate Morton and her writing? Because she picks up words and strings them on a magical line and they are filled with thoughts and feelings. When I was reading The Forgotten Garden these lines stuck out immediately and I had to write them down because it felt like they were written for me.

Cassandra always hid when she read, though she never quite knew why. It was as if she couldn’t shake the guilty suspicion that she was being lazy, that surrendering herself so completely to something so enjoyable must surely be wrong. But surrender she did. Let herself drop through the rabbit hole and into a tale of magic and mystery …

Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

Her books read not like a poem but it’s somewhere near that. She has a way with words, she doesn’t just describe what’s in front of you, she also creates the atmosphere of every single thing that appears in the book. Each page oozes honey and though her stories are nowhere near fantasy, her writing style reminds me of fairy tales.

What I also love about Morton’s writing is her ability to portray complex characters, most of whom are female. She can tell so much about a person, their deepest desires, fearful anxieties, unwanted thoughts. The relationships between these characters are at the centre of the story and I think this is marvelous because we do want to know more about other people and what goes on in their heads. We don’t want to know just what happens to them but also what that makes them feel.

Reading her books transports me to a world where even the darkest things in life are manageable and she does write about pain a lot. But still she can create such a version of the world that it sweeps you off your feet and before you know it, you’re breathing in her words and listening to what they’re saying. Such is the extent of her story telling powers. So I really do urge you to pick up her books and see for yourselves just how amazing she is. (By the way her plot twists are totally unexpected and the word building enthralling. You won’t be bored for even a second.)

I don’t have many friends, not the living, breathing sort at any rate. And I don’t mean that in a sad and lonely way; I’m just not the type of person who accumulates friends or enjoys crowds. I’m good with words, but not spoken kind; I’ve often thought what a marvelous thing it would be if I could only conduct relationships on paper. And I suppose, in a sense, that’s what I do, for I’ve hundreds of the other sort, the friends contained within bindings, pages after glorious pages of ink, stories that unfold the same way every time but never lose their joy, that take me by the hand and lead me through doorways into worlds of great terror and rapturous delight. Exciting, worthy, reliable companions – full of wise counsel, some of them – but sadly ill-equipped to offer the use of a spare bedroom for a month or two.

Kate Morton, The Distant Hours