Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Review: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Paperback, 645 pages
Published June 6th 2008 by Pan Books (first published January 1st 2008)

Primary language:  English
Original title:  The Forgotten Garden

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century - Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself. 

Kristine's Review
I have to thank Terri for finding this book. She has been bugging me to read it for a little while so I thought I'd better pick it up and give it a go. I'm not sure where to begin or if it is even possible to put into words how I felt about this book. Here goes nothing...
  This book is about two woman who are trying to uncover their family's past. There is Nell, who on her twenty first birthday, found out that she is not who she thought she was and then Cassandra, her grandaughter, who knows nothing of  Nell's secret until after she passes away. The book jumps back and forth through time periods of each woman in their quest to find out the truth. Not only does it tell their story from different decades, it goes back to before either of their time to the Mountrachet family where it all begins. This is where we are introduced to Eliza and Rose.

  I must say that I found it a little confusing when I first started the book. Each chapter would leap between different time periods and characters and I had to keep looking back to remember who I was reading about. It wasn't until I got deeper into the book that I thought that it was brilliant the way Kate Morton began the story. By the time the story was well underway and I was captivated, the characters from every timeline were so well developed that I felt like I knew them. I cared about them and could not wait to read more about them. With each chapter little pieces of the puzzle were uncovered and I loved trying to figure out how it would all tie together in the end. I was right about some, and wrong about others. I was completely hooked up until the very last page. Morton brilliantly tied the pieces between past and present to tell this story of Nell's family past.

  This is the first Kate Morton book that I have read. The House at Riverton is on my bookshelf and after reading The Forgotten Garden I am sure I will be picking it up in the very near future. I will also be borrowing her latest from Terri the next time I see her. I loved this book. If I had to describe it in one word I would have to say STUNNING!

Kristine's rating

Terri's Review

I am so glad that Kristine has finally read this book!  I read this several months ago hence the reason I waited for her to submit her review as my recollection is not as fresh.  I fell in love with this book from the very beginning.  I love the way there were several stories in one weaving from 1900 to present day in order to bring the reader to the conclusion of one mystery.

I was swept away on a journey with the character's and I did not and could not put the book down.  Morton has an uncanny knack of taking me away to a different frame of mind.  I found myself thinking about this book and what would happen whenever I had put it down, I was dreaming about it and the I could not shake the "zone" it put me in while reading it and well after finishing it.  In fact, Morton has managed to do this with all three of her books.  I am still trying to shake the indescribable feeling her most recent book has given me.

As with Kristine, there were some parts that I guessed (we will chat about it this weekend!) and others that I did not know until they unfolded.  This book is probably at the top of my list of favorites barring some classics that I read many years ago.  I urge anyone who has been considering this book to stop considering and start reading!  For those who were never considering it, it is about time you do


Terri's Rating

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews! I have Kate Morton on my wishlist ... I'm definitely going to be reading one of her books this fall!