A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton- Hidden Gems & Buried Treasures Feature and Review

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.



The Forgotten GardenThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is a 2009 Atria publication.

I only recently discovered this author, having read her latest release, “The Lake House,” and loved it. Naturally, I wanted more!

The Forgotten Garden is just the type of novel I can lose myself in. I love family secrets within a historical setting that spans generations.

The story begins with a little girl found all alone in 1913, taken in by a couple desperate for children, raising her as their own, naming her “Nell”. Once Nell learns the truth, she is shattered by the revelations, and sabotages all the plans she has for the future. Years later, she is given a chance to learn more about her true heritage, but it wasn’t until her granddaughter inherits Nell’s estate, that the truth is slowly unearthed.

Kate Morton’s prose is mesmerizing, hypnotizing, and riveting. I enjoyed seeing the mystery unfold due to Cassandra’s persistence, and with the help of those just as eager to help her obtain answers her grandmother never had the chance to.

In some ways the tale is a sordid one, controversial even, with people making choices that affect generations of people. Some were selfish, some were selfless, and the results were often mixed. There are actually three stories here, woven together, carefully constructed to keep the reader in almost unbearable suspense, until all the shocking secrets of the forgotten garden are at last revealed, finally releasing the pain and heartbreak visited on so many, and opening up a new portal for peace and understanding.

While many areas of this story are depressing, and it could be argued that it’s a tragedy, it is also a kind a love story, and ends on such an uplifting note, I felt a huge sense of peace. I loved Eliza’s fairy tales and the way they paralleled real events, in the story. I could help but feel for Eliza, but admired her, too, however, I was often perplexed by Nell’s choices, but Cassandra is a gem and I think she will make sure the legacy of her true heritage is given the honor and respect it deserves.







From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
The Lake HouseThe Lake House by Kate Morton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Lake House by Kate Morton is a 2015 Atria publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

While Kate Morton has written several highly praised novels, I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first of her books I have read. So, I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this one, but I had a feeling I was going to like it.

Alice, a successful mystery writer and Sadie Sparrow, a detective visiting her grandfather while on leave, have their lives intersect in the most unlikely of ways, but it almost feels like fate is working overtime because the odd circumstances that place them together will unravel years of secrets, lies, guilt, and will ultimately lead to the truth about a seventy year old cold case.

Seventy years ago, Alice’s youngest sibling, Theo, disappeared, and has been presumed dead. But, his body was never found, and no one was ever charged with a crime. The lake house was abandoned just as it was, nothing moved or packed away, and has stood empty for decades, when Sadie happens upon it.

Sadie is in some hot water at work and her partner is trying to keep her from being fired. So, he suggested she lay low for a while. But, what caused her to make such a huge career blunder, is a distraction from her past.

With nothing to keep her mind busy, Sophie begins to delve into Theo’s disappearance. What she uncovers is absolutely astounding….

I love it when a mystery novel is written in a literary prose, and this story certainly has that advantage, but in the beginning the story was sort of disjointed and moved very slowly. The truth is, nothing all that exciting comes to pass until the half way mark, when all that came before begins to take shape. From that point on, the story became so absorbing, I couldn’t stop reading and found myself still awake at one a.m., totally spellbound.

This is such a compelling story, which goes far beyond the initial mystery that brings Alice and Sadie together. They don’t write enough of these types of stories anymore, which is sad. Although there are heartbreaking elements to the tale, the ending is simply perfect.

I highly recommend this story to those who love historical mysteries, contemporary fiction, and great story telling.




KATE MORTON grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and three young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specialising in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels. Kate harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she became sidetracked writing novels, and still feels a pang of longing each time she goes to the theatre and the house lights dim.

Kate used to hide to read when she was small, and still believes that reading should be so pleasurable it feels almost illicit. Her favourite novels are the sort that you can disappear inside, and the thing she most likes hearing from readers is that they stayed up far too late turning pages.

Kate Morton has sold over 10 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper have all been number one bestsellers around the world, and Kate's fifth novel, The Lake House, will be published in October 2015.

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at http://www.katemorton.com or http://www.facebook.com/KateMortonAuthor or follow at instagram.com/katemortonauthor/.

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