Sunday, November 28, 2010

155 - The Forgotten Garden; Kate Morton

















Having read The House at Riverton, Kate Morton's debut novel, a few months back and enjoyed it, I was anxious to read her second novel The Forgotten Garden.

The Forgotten Garden weaves together the story of three women: Cassandra, an Australian woman, her grandmother Nell, and Eliza, a writer of fairy tales.  The novel opens in 1913 England where a little girl has been left on the deck of a ship and told not to tell anyone her name.  The woman who left her, she knows only as the "authoress", has instructed her to hide and wait. When she is discovered on the deck of Maryborough Australia wharf, the couple who find her have little to go on except for a book of fairy tales that she carried in her small suitcase.

 In 2005 Cassandra's grandmother, Nell dies and leaves her a Cornish cottage. Cassandra is also given a small suitcase containing fairy tales by Eliza Makepeace. In addition, she learns that her grandmother never knew who her real parents were. Cassandra, devastated by the earlier deaths on her husband and sons and now her grandmother, travels from Australia to the remote estate she inherited in Cornwall England to try and solve the mystery surrounding her grandmother, Nell's past. As Cassandra unearths the secrets of her grandmother's past, she in turn is able to make peace and move on with her own life.

MY THOUGHTS: The story jumps around quite a bit in both place and time, and for some this may be confusing and off-putting.  The clues revealed throughout the book make it relatively easy to figure out the mystery.  I found the detailed maps on the inside covers of the hardcover edition an added bonus that was great to refer back to. I liked this story, but did not love it.  I think it is one of those books that you need to experience for yourself and decide.

RATING - 4/5 stars
(personal copy)

26 comments:

  1. I like Kate Morton's books and I this book was one I liked very much.

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  2. I really like this book. I like the way Kate Morton weaves her stories and then tie it all together in a knot!!

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  3. I know several people who loved this book and several who felt the same way you did. It's one I really want to try for myself.

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  4. I read my first Kate Morton book, The Distant Hours, earlier this month and really enjoyed it. I just picked up a used copy of The House at Riverton a few days ago, and I'm looking forward to reading it! Depending on how that goes, I may end up with The Forgotten Garden next...your review intrigues me.

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  5. I loved that the inspirations for this book were the real-life story of her grandmother (? I think it was) being adopted and the existence of a sprawling "forgotten garden" in Cornwall that was rediscovered and restored years ago.

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  6. I really enjoyed The House at Riverton as well, so am looking forward to this one. Although it may not capture the same magic as that first one, I hope I can still get swallowed up in the world she creates!

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  7. Good to know - I have this one on my shelf but the size is scaring me off a bit. I will get to it at some point so I am glad you liked it! I tend to like books that have storied that meld together from different time frames.

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  8. I agree with your rating of this one... this was an audio for me, so I didn't have the maps available. Still enjoyed it though and plan to read The House at Riverton.

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  9. I've heard mixed opinions on this one but it is on my shelf and I will eventually be reading it.

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  10. I just finished The Distant Hours and liked a lot . I would give it 4 of 5 stars.

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  11. I haven't read any of Kate Morton's books yet but they are on my list for the New Year and I plan to read...um...maybe all of them?!
    I will remember when I read this one, to take my time and read carefully!

    ~ Amy

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  12. I bought a copy of this one, now let's see how long it takes for me to read it!!

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  13. I have also heard mixed things about this book, but have her newest one waiting for me and am pretty excited about it. Great review, I think this might actually be a really good read for me.

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  14. I liked House at Riverton better but I still enjoyed this one immensely

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  15. I've got this one on our Kindle, and just haven't found the time to read it. I really want to like it though.

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  16. I just picked up The House at Riverton last night! I'm really enjoying that so I can imagine that I'll be looking forward to more of her books.

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  17. I have this on my TBR shelf and started reading it by mistake for my book club a few months ago. It hooked me in and I can't wait to go back and finish it. Two of my book club friends loved it. Instead, we were discussing House at Riverton which wasn't one that held my interest.

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  18. Interesting ... I heard so much good stuff about this book I got it from Paperback Swap but still haven't gotten to it.

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  19. I also found the jumping confusing but then it got better and I was hooked halfway through this book. I ended up really enjoying it.

    I'm listening to The House at Riverton right now. So far so good.

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  20. You know how much I just love her so for me, it was a good one! I liked the stories jumping around. Sometimes it doesn't always work but I thought Morton did a good job.

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  21. I actually fell in love with Morton when I read The Forgotten Garden, I agree it jumps about in time but in the end I felt amazed by it.

    I guess I went in not expecting anything and hence I loved it.

    PS The Distant Hours follows the same pattern.

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  22. I didn't finish this book - I might try it again though... I had so much going on at the time that the story didn't hold my attention.

    Other than myself... I don't know anyone who didn't really like this book (which is why I need to try again).

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  23. I haven't read Kate Morton, but have been led to add her to my wishlist based on THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON. I appreciate your 'read it and decide for yourself' suggestion.

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  24. I have The Riverton House on my Shelfari shelf and have been interested in this one as well. Thanks! Maybe I should start with Riverton first.

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  25. It sounds interesting but I'm not sure how well I would like the jumping around. Perhaps I'll read her other book first and then decide on this one.

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  26. I have got to finish this one of these days!

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