“Homecoming” by Kate Morton – Book Review

Ever since reading “The Forgotten Garden“, I have been a huge fan of Kate Morton’s novels.  Since they have been published in 38 languages and have been international bestsellers, it would seem I am not alone.

Kate Morton certainly knows how to weave a story. This time, she weaves a narrative that is part family saga, part cold case murder mystery.  Told via a dual time line, it had a book within a book trope which worked well here.

Jess, an investigative journalist, has returned home to Australia after two decades of living in London. She goes back to ‘Darling House’ her grandmother’s beautiful home atop a cliff overlooking Sydney Harbour. The grandmother who raised her has had a nasty fall and is in hospital. Her ‘homecoming’ is bittersweet for several reasons. It seems her grandmother Nora was distraught about a solicitor’s letter right before her fall. Jess’s journalistic curiosity leads her down a road that exposes long hidden family secrets, dare I say skeletons?

Jess discovers a book under her grandmother’s pillow called “As If They Were Asleep” by a true crime journalist named Daniel Miller. As Jess reads this book for herself, we read along with her to be drip-fed facts and clues about a terrible tragedy that occurred back in 1959. The tragedy took place at another grand house called ‘Halycon’ in Southern Australia’s Adelaide Hills. On Christmas Eve of that year a woman and her four children were mysteriously killed while on a picnic on their property.

How this tragic event is linked to Jess and her family was eerily compelling. It was a tale of complicity, deception, parenting, jealousy and shrewd understanding of human nature.

With her trademark engaging characters, her vividly described settings, and her thoroughly immersive plot, Kate Morton has surpassed her earlier efforts with “Homecoming”. Highly recommended!
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Simon and Schuster Canada via NetGalley. Publication date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781982149376 – ASIN: B0BHLHP4LK – 560 pages

Favourite quotes from”Homecoming”:

“A person should never have to knock to come home.”

“We can’t allow ourselves to be the victims of our childhoods,” she said. “One can’t blame one’s parents – or indeed one’s children – for everything. Most people do the best they can and sometimes, sadly, it’s not enough.”

“What is the truth anyway? It’s what happened, but according to whom?”

“Wasn’t this the theory about crime and mystery books? That their appeal lay in the promise of order restored in a disordered world?”

“Home, she’d realized, wasn’t a place or a time or a person, though it could be any and all of those things: home was a feeling, a sense of being complete.”

Kate Morton was born in South Australia, 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.

Kate Morton’s six previous novels – The House at RivertonThe Forgotten GardenThe Distant HoursThe Secret Keeper, The Lake House, and The Clockmaker’s Daughter – have all been New York Times bestsellers, Sunday Times bestsellers and international number 1 bestsellers; they are published in 38 languages, across 45 countries.

Connect with Kate Morton via her official website, Instagram, or Facebook.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Family sagas, Favorite books, Historical fiction, Literary fiction, Mystery fiction, NetGalley and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Homecoming” by Kate Morton – Book Review

  1. Pingback: Fictionophile’s APRIL 2023 Reading Wrap-Up #bookblogger #MonthlyWrapUp | Fictionophile

  2. Carla says:

    Wonderful review, Lynne. I have only read two Kate Morton books so far, but have a couple on my bookshelf upstairs. I think I will read this one by the pool when the weather is nicer.


  3. Pingback: “Homecoming” di Kate Morton – Recensione del libro @SimonSchusterCA @simonschuster #Homecoming #KateMorton #BookReview – My Blog

  4. You finished! Sometimes I hate to when I know that it will be a long wait for the author’s next title.

    Liked by 1 person

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