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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Kate Morton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,585373770 (4.04)362
Title:The Forgotten Garden
Authors:Kate Morton
Info:Pan Books (2008), Paperback, 350 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks, General Fiction
Tags:Fiction, 21st century, British, audiobook

Work details

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (2008)

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    Possession by A. S. Byatt (casvelyn)
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: In each of these atmospheric novels tinged with all the best aspects of gothic novels -- old estates, family secrets, suspicious deaths -- a garden holds the answers the protagonists seek.
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» See also 362 mentions

English (342)  Spanish (9)  German (7)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (3)  Finnish (2)  French (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Italian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All (373)
Showing 1-5 of 342 (next | show all)
Love, love, loved this. It was like Russian nesting dolls, the stories tucked inside each were wonderful. The fairy tales wonderful. The characters fully realized and magical. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
I really enjoyed Morton’s book The Distant Hours and was hoping that this one would have the same effect on me. Morton presents an intriguing multi-generational family secret mystery to unravel. The location – Blackhurst, a gloomy, sprawling manor located on the coast of Cornwall, complete with a garden maze, a secret walled garden and an isolated cottage on the cliffs – provides a wonderful backdrop for this family mystery. The three main narrators (Eliza, Nell and Cassandra) are interesting but I found they lack the development I would have expected in a story of this magnitude. I also found the intersecting narratives to be a rather meandering way to present this story, rehashing certain events from different narrator perspectives, with only a few "Aha" moments for the reader. As much as I adore fairy tales – having grown up on generous doses of tales by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and the like – the inclusion of fairy-tales and fairy-tale symbolism made this story a tad more convoluted than I felt was necessary. Yes, the “reveal” at the end is a good one and does make up for some of the slogging this reader experienced, having to wade through pages of unnecessary details and what I felt was too much dialogue to reach the end. Overall, I found this story to be heavy on the cross-generational narrative, rather flat in its delivery and light on the Gothic atmosphere that I tend to love in family secret stories of this nature. An okay read but anyone looking for a good atmospheric Gothic read would be better off reading books like Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale or Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger. ( )
  lkernagh | Jun 18, 2017 |
Book Club April 2017. Entire group enjoyed this one.
Nell is British, found at the age of 4 on a Ship in Australia and raised by an Australian couple as their own, until she finds out at the age of 21 that she does not belong to them... and the story really begins ( )
  saradiann | May 21, 2017 |
A sweeping novel spanning one hundred years and the lives of a family of enigmatic and troubled women. Drawn into the mystery of a rare collection of beautifully illustrated fairy tales left to her by her grandmother Nell, Cassandra follows the trail of clues leading her to the Mountrachet Estate in Cornwall, England as she struggles to assemble the puzzle of Nell's unknown origins. A story of a sprawling English estate, the stoic and doomed family it houses, and the dark secrets it possesses in its halls and under its gardens. The Forgotten Garden is wonderfully atmospheric and an example of Gothic storytelling at its finest. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
Kate Morton's writing is superb.

The Authoress and a little girl board a ship in England. She tells the little girl to wait for her, but she never comes back and the little girl is left all alone, sitting atop her suitcase, on a wharf in Australia. Without a name and no one looking for her the portmaster is left with little choice but to take the four-year-old child in. She is given a name and a good life until her father, the portmaster, tells her she is not who she thinks she is. The now 21-year old Nell leaves everything and everyone she has ever known and eventually sets off to find the one person she thinks will give her the answers she so desperately wants - the Authoress.

The book switches between a time when Nell is searching for answers about who she is; to her granddaughter searching in England for the answers that Nell never had the pleasure of knowing; and further back to when the Authoress herself was growing up.

The book is unputdownable. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 342 (next | show all)
All the pieces don’t quite mesh, but it’s a satisfying read overall, just the thing for readers who like multigenerational sagas with a touch of mystery.
added by Christa_Josh | editBooklist, Mary Ellen Quinn (Apr 15, 2009)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Mortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ayers, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faulkner, IanMap artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kwan, LaywanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martínez, Carlos SchroederTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, Elisabet W.Overs.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mock-Maniscalco, DavinaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroeder, CarlosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Oliver and Louis
More precious than all the spun gold in Fairyland
First words
It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she'd been told.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A lost child: On the eve of the First World War, a little girl is found abandoned on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman called the Authoress had promised to look after her - but has disappeared without a trace. A terrible secret: On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell Andrews learns a secret that will change her life forever. Decades later, she embarks upon a search for the truth that leads her to the windswept Cornish coast and the strange and beautiful Blackhurst Manor, once owned by the aristocratic Mountrachet family.A mysterious inheritance: On Nell's death, her granddaughter, Cassandra, comes into an unexpected inheritance. Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold - secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales. It is here that Cassandra will finally uncover the truth about the family, and solve the century-old mystery of a little girl lost.
Haiku summary
The key to an old
Secret will be found in the
Forgotten garden.

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(see all 2 descriptions)

"From the author of "The House at Riverton" comes a story of outer and inner journeys as "Nell," abandoned as a child, leaves her adoptive parents in Australia and travels to England to trace her story, to find her real identity--a quest that ultimately leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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