Skip to main content

Book Review: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton


The story begins with a little girl who is hiding on a ship. It is clear that she has boarded the ship with a woman she calls The Authoress, but after waiting for a very long time, the little girl joins some other children in a game. Soon she is on the dock in Australia, all alone. No one from the ship or the town she has arrived in is there to claim her. The dockmaster and his wife take her in and raise her as their own. They name her Nell because she cannot remember her name. When Nell is 21 years old, her father tells her the truth. This sets the young woman off on a quest to discover who she really is.

In The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton slowly reveals the story through three points of view. First there is the story of Nell's research and travels to England as an adult in the 1970s. Then there is the story of her granddaughter, Cassandra's own travels in 2005 after her grandmother's death, as she tries to fill in the pieces Nell wasn't able to uncover. And finally, we travel all the way back to the early 1900s to learn more about Nell's real family, and the events that led to her being alone on that ship.

This book has sat on my shelf for more than a year. I always thought I would enjoy it, but it's much longer than the books I usually read so I held off reading it. I'm so glad I finally picked it up! This is a wonderful work of historical fiction. It's a family saga filled with a compelling mystery that keeps the pages turning. Morton brought the time and locales to life; I could visualize the streets of London at the turn of the century, the little cottage overrun by nature, and the beautiful gardens full of flowers and trees.

I just loved the fact that Morton included the fairy tales that are an integral part of the story. She didn't just tell us what they were about. She actually included them in full so we could read along with Cassandra and the other characters as they discovered the fairy tales themselves.

I highly recommend The Forgotten Garden to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and family sagas. It's a beautifully written story with fascinating characters and an engaging mystery that pulls you through the story from beginning to end. I will say I figured out a good deal of the mystery much sooner than the characters did, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story.

My Rating: 5/5

For more information and to hear a reading of the first chapter, visit the author's website
Reading group guide

This review was written based on a copy of The Forgotten Garden that I obtained through Paperback Swap.

Comments

  1. ILOVE kate Morton's books. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked this one well enough but I enjoyed The House at Riverton more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved this one and it reminded me in some ways of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
    I am looking forward to reading her third novel now though I have just seen an unfavourable review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This one sounds really good. On my pintrest list

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: No Story to Tell by KJ Steele

Victoria has been put down since the day she was born. First by her parents who were disappointed that she survived while her twin brother died. Then by her verbally abusive husband and his low-life friends. But soon an intriguing artist named Elliott arrives in town and starts encouraging Victoria to follow her dream of opening her own dance studio. She also begins to receive phone calls from a mysterious someone who gets her to open up about her past and face her true feelings.

In No Story to Tell, KJ Steele has captured the small-town atmosphere and brought these characters to life. From the victimized Victoria, to her drunk and obnoxious husband Bobby and his drunk and obnoxious friends, to all the side characters who you'd expect to encounter in a town like this ~ all are so realistic in both their actions and their voices. She has written a compelling story of an abused woman who thinks she is trapped in this loveless, miserable existence. But then she finds a spark of hope…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)


Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…