Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
"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." (from Goodreads)
This novel has been on my TBR list for so long I almost forgot all about it! I'm so glad I finally managed to make time for it as I loved it.
I admit it -- I love gloomy, gothic, melancholy storylines. (I'm not sure just what that says about me, as I think I am a very nice, upbeat person in real life!) But I never get tired of plots with dark family secrets and an old English estate. Add in a cottage by the sea, a smugglers' cave, a secret garden, and a cameo appearance by Frances Hodgson Burnett (of The Secret Garden), and you have a winner for me.
Kate Morton knows how to draw out the suspense -- she layers her mysteries and secrets, weaves the story of several generations together, and keeps the suspense high until the shocking conclusion. I admit that I have to be in the right frame of mind to read her novels as they are very haunting and there is a pervasive sadness throughout her books, a great sense of loss.....and even though there is closure, it's bittersweet. Still many questions linger in my mind -- this would be a great book club read as I would love to have a long discussion about some threads of the story.
I have now enjoyed all three of her novels and look forward to her next writing project. You can also read my reviews of The Distant Hours and The House at Riverton.
Kate Morton discusses The Forgotten Garden:
Title: The Forgotten Garden
Author: Kate Morton
Simon & Schuster