WHAT BOOK would historical fiction writer Kate Morton take to a desert island? 


WHAT BOOK would historical fiction writer Kate Morton take to a desert island?

. . . are you reading now?

The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, a memoir about the year following the death of her husband, during which her only daughter was critically ill in hospital.

It’s a meditation on love and loss, threaded with recollections from family life across the decades.

I’ve just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which involves a pandemic, but focuses on the human stories.

I loved it — beautiful writing, strong characterisation and a killer premise.

If there¿s a fair prospect of rescue, she would take the latest Sally Hepworth to a desert island. If not, however, it would be The Complete Works of Shakespeare

If there’s a fair prospect of rescue, she would take the latest Sally Hepworth to a desert island. If not, however, it would be The Complete Works of Shakespeare

. . . would you take to a desert island?

If there’s a fair prospect of rescue, I’ll take the latest Sally Hepworth. Her suspense novels are always funny, clever, twisty and genuinely unputdownable.

If, however, I’m going to be stuck on the island for ever, I’d be inclined to take something by which to remember humanity in all its light and shade.

Kate remembers reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton front to back - and then again - as a child

Kate remembers reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton front to back – and then again – as a child

The complete works of Shakespeare would be a good option, with the added bonus that it can be read aloud.

. . . first gave you the reading bug?

The first non-picture book I can remember owning was The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. I read it from front to back, then started again. At the time I lived in a wooden stilt house by a rainforest, so it seemed possible I might discover my own Faraway Tree, full of fairy folk, if I searched hard enough.

. . . left you cold?

I used to feel a duty to finish every book, but reading shouldn’t be a sufferance and my to-be-read pile is now so large I’m using it as a bedside table.

  • Homecoming by Kate Morton is published by Pan Macmillan, £20.



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