Book giveaway: The Lake House by Kate Morton

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A missing child...

June 1933, and sixteen-year-old Alice Edevane is preparing for her family's Midsummer Eve party at their country home, Loeanneth. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night skies, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great that they leave Loeanneth forever.

An abandoned house...

Seventy years later, after a particularly troubling case, Detective Sadie Sparrow retreats to her beloved grandfather's cottage in Cornwall. Once there, she stumbles upon an abandoned house, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace.

An unsolved mystery...

Meanwhile, in her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, now an old lady, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes. Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family's past, seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape.

Read an extract

Meet the author: Kate Morton

What are you reading now?

Charlotte Brontë: A Life by Claire Harman. I’d been eyeing it in bookstores since before Christmas and finally made it mine! I’m reading it partly for research but mostly for pleasure.

What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?

I buy books for my children so often that perhaps they no longer count as 'gifts'? Aside from that, it would be the Persephone Books edition of Good Things in England by Florence White that I bought for my mum last week. It’s a 'Practical Cookery Book for Everyday Use' that was first published in 1932 and contains 853 regional recipes dating back to the fourteenth century. Elizabeth David called it a 'classic'.

Is research a big part of your writing process?

Huge. But then, I love the research aspect of my job – I’m often at risk of becoming lost in the research and never writing a word of fiction! My books are extensions of myself, so the research books I read, films and documentaries I watch, places I visit, thoughts I have, would be pretty much the same whether I were a writer or not.

Do you have any peculiar writing rituals or habits?

As the mother of three sons I’m pretty flexible – I have to be! There isn’t always the option of a quiet room of one’s own in which to write. Once my notebook or laptop is open, I don’t see the words I’m writing, I see the characters and place of my story and am able to disappear quite easily into its world. Having said that, I do like a scented candle (Abd el Kader by Cire Trudon is my absolute favourite and a very special indulgence). Dark chocolate covered almonds also help.

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?

Write what you love; read widely; write as often as you can. Don’t be discouraged when what you write seems terrible; that’s what editing is for and you can’t edit a blank page.

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary Gothic novels. The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper have all been number one bestsellers around the world.

Also by Kate Morton:

Book giveaway:

We've got 50 copies of The Lake House to give away to Mumsnetters to read and share their thoughts about it on the discussion thread. Fill in the form below to apply for your copy.

You don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion. Anyone who has read The Lake House can post their feedback on the discussion thread. If you miss out on a free one, you can buy a copyAll who post feedback before 5 July will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is now closed.

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