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The 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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kate grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland and lives with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature,