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)

my thoughts:

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:

5/5 stars

Title: The Forgotten Garden
Author: Kate Morton
Simon & Schuster
552 pages
genre: mystery/suspense


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Another great review, Joanne (and another one I completely agree with!). The Forgotten Garden is my favourite of Morton's three novels -- although I do love all three.

Like you, I can't wait for Morton's next book.

Mystica said...

I loved this book!

Joanne said...

Thanks, Melissa and Mystica! Do either of you know any info about her next book? Her website doesn't have anything (to my knowledge).

Anne said...

This book sounds wonderful. I have read The House at Riverton and I really liked it, I am sure I will enjoy this one as well. Thanks for the gret review.

Carole Rae said...

Joanne, I too love me some dark story-lines. Great review! Sounds like a great read.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I listened to this on audio and liked it, but probably not as much as you did. I simply loved The House at Riverton, so in comparison this was a bit of a let down for me. I kept jumping to conclusions too (which were all wrong!) convinced so and so was a villain or pervert, etc. I do love her writing, though and the period.

Joanne said...

Hello, Anne and Carol Rae - Hope you enjoy it!

Hey, Julie - I know you weren't enthralled by it and sorry it didn't do it for you.(I agree that Linus entered the territory similar to The Thirteenth Tale...eeww!) Oh, well -- just keep those good romances coming!

Anjuli said...

great review - makes me want to read all of her books. I watched the video for the distant hours and it looks really great.

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

@Joanne. I haven't heard anything about a new book yet, but hopefully we'll hear some news soon.

Joanne said...

Melissa - Good news! Since I posted this review, I did a search of her facebook page and found some news about her next book. She said it is coming out in late 2012 and she will be posting info about the storyline soon. So I'll be on the lookout and will do a post when I learn anything more.

Lynn Put said...

Excellent review Joanne! This is one of my favorite books! I'm looking forward to Kate Morton's new book next year!

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Great news, Joanne. I'll keep my eyes open for a title and release date.

Unknown said...

Sounds wonderful, thanks for the review!

Favorite Period Dramas

Mount TBR

Joanne's to-read book montage

On a Highland Shore
A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
The Edwardians
Maisie Dobbs
Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

Joanne's favorite books »