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The Forgotten Garden (2008)

by Kate Morton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,9244471,122 (4.02)1 / 436
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 the Authoress has disappeared without a trace. A terrible secret. On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell O'Connor 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 grand-daughter, 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.… (more)
  1. 282
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    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (starfishian, Cecrow)
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    The Savage Garden by Mark Mills (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    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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    The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell (tandah)
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    Possession by A.S. Byatt (casvelyn)
    casvelyn: So many similarities: the use of fairy tales, the multiple storylines in different time periods, the research into the past and family secrets
  12. 00
    The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (beyondthefourthwall)
    beyondthefourthwall: Family secrets, Gothic overtones, and a reclusive grandmother's mysterious and extremely obscure book of old fairy tales that might just be the key to figuring it all out.
  13. 00
    I Found You by Lisa Jewell (beyondthefourthwall)
    beyondthefourthwall: Old, multilayered family mysteries and puzzles of identity, set along the English seashore.
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    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (tandah)
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    KimarieBee: Family secrets
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» See also 436 mentions

English (407)  Spanish (12)  German (6)  Dutch (5)  French (3)  Finnish (3)  Catalan (3)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (445)
Showing 1-5 of 407 (next | show all)
Kate Morton's 'The Forgotten Garden' was a pleasure to read, a tale twisted in masterful form, its pull on the reader irresistable.

Cassandra is left a cottage when her grandmother dies, a cottage on the coast of Cornwall, which is baffling, as Cassandra and Nell live in Australia. Cassandra goes overseas to investigate the cottage and the gaps in Nell's life, and finds out more than she ever reckoned.

The story involves timelines of the early 20th century, 1975, and 2005, and Morton moves back and forth masterfully. I enjoyed reading this book very much and already have another Kate Morton book lined up on the bookshelf for when I next need to take a break from reality and lose myself in another of her stories. ( )
  ahef1963 | May 9, 2024 |
BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
(Print: 6/1/2008; 978-0330449601; Pan Books. 648 pages; unabridged.)
(Digital: Yes.)
*Audio: 7/18/2008; Duration 20:39:00; ASIN B001D066D6; Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd; unabridged.
(Film: Not that I know of).

SERIES: No

CHARACTERS: (not comprehensive)
Cassandra Ryan
Nell O’Connor,
Eliza Makepeace,
Sammy Makepeace
Rose Mountrachet
Georgiana Mountrachet
Luis Mountrachet
Adeline Mountrachet
Nathaniel Walker

SUMMARY/ EVALUATION:
I finally got to this book that I’d purchased from Audible quite a while ago, having really liked, “The Clockmakers Daughter” by the same author.
There are lots of moving parts in this story as we shift to various characters and time periods investigating how it was that a 4-year-old ended up on a sea voyage by herself to Australia. Family relations are tied and untied, and there’s a bit of subterfuge that apparently hoped to lead me astray, but the clues were to sound, for me to be misled.

AUTHOR: Kate Morton (1976). Wikipedia says Kate “ is an Australian author. Morton has sold more than 11 million books in 42 countries, making her one of Australia's "biggest publishing exports".[1] The author has written six novels: The House at Riverton (The Shifting Fog), The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours,[2][3] The Secret Keeper, The Lake House, and The Clockmaker's Daughter (published in September 2018).[4]”

NARRATOR:
Caroline Lee (June 27, 1953). According to Goodreads, “Caroline is a performer, theatre-maker and writer, and has worked professionally in the arts for over twenty-five years. She has worked with many theatre companies including the Malthouse, STC, MTC, Bell Shakespeare, Back to Back Theatre, Red Stitch, Chamber Made Opera, MKA, Finucane and Smith, HeLD Productions, Hildegard, Playbox (Raw) and La Mama.”

DEDICATION:
“For Oliver and Louis More precious than all the spun gold in Fairyland.

GENRE:
Historical Mystery; Literary Fiction

LOCATIONS:
Maryborough, Australia; Brisbane, Australia; Cornwall, England; London, England

TIME FRAME
1904?; 1913; 2005

SUBJECTS:
Fairy tales; flashbacks; chronological shifts; secret garden; social classes; cousins; family; sketches; writer; abandonment; kid-napping; adoption; family secrets; extraction; inheritance.

SAMPLE QUOTATION:
From Chapter 3 Brisbane, 2005
Cassandra hadn’t left the hospital in days, though the doctor held out little hope her grandmother would regain lucidity. It wasn’t likely, he said, not at her age, not with that amount of morphine in her system.
The night nurse was there again, so Cassandra knew it was no longer day. The precise time she couldn’t guess. It was hard to tell in here: the foyer lights were constantly on, a television could always be heard through never seen, carts tracked up and down the halls no matter what the hour. An irony that a place relying so heavily on routine should operate so resolutely outside time’s usual rhythms.
Nonetheless, Cassandra waited. Watching, comforting, as Nell drowned in a sea of memories, came up for air again and again in earlier times of life. She couldn’t bear to think her grandmother might defy the odds and find her way back to the present, only to discover herself floating on the outer edge of life, alone.

RATING:
4 stars.

STARTED-FINISHED
9/10/2021 – 10/11/2021 ( )
  TraSea | May 6, 2024 |
I'm a Kate Morton fan. That said, she does have a formula -- two timelines about 50-70 years apart, where someone from the current time is trying to piece together what happened in the past. An elderly person usually provides key information that brings the pieces together. So, I wait a while between her books...and am always glad to get back to her stories.

This novel provides a good story; one that kept me guessing. The end tied things up without resulting in too many coincidences. As always, Ms. Morton's characters were well developed and her writing just lovely.

Next up...in a while, The Distant Hours. ( )
  LynnB | Mar 12, 2024 |
Historical Fiction
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
Ebook- Kind of a fairy tale as revealed by the granddaughter of Nell. Nell learned that was not the birth daughter of the family she learned to call her own when she was 18. This so troubled her that she shunned her family and was haunted by how she became to be an orphan. The story follows her search for her past and how her granddaughter picked up on that search after Nell?s death. An enjoyable read. Kirkus: A four-year-old girl abandoned aboard a ship touches off a century-long inquiry into her ancestry, in Morton?s weighty, at times unwieldy, second novel (The House at Riverton, 2008).In 1913, Hugh, portmaster of Maryborough, Australia, discovers a child alone on a vessel newly arrived from England. The little girl cannot recall her name and has no identification, only a white suitcase containing some clothes and a book of fairy tales by Eliza Makepeace. Hugh and his wife, childless after several miscarriages, name the girl Nell and raise her as their own. At 21, she is engaged to be married and has no idea she is not their biological daughter. When Hugh confesses the truth, Nell?s equilibrium is destroyed, but life and World War II intervene, and she doesn?t explore her true origins until 1975, when she journeys to London. There she learns of Eliza?s sickly cousin Rose, daughter of Lord Linus Mountrachet and his lowborn, tightly wound wife, Lady Adeline. Mountrachet?s beloved sister Georgiana disgraced the family by running off to London to live in squalor with a sailor, who then abruptly disappeared. Eliza was their daughter, reclaimed by Linus after Georgiana?s death and brought back to Blackhurst, the gloomy Mountrachet manor in Cornwall. Interviewing secretive locals at Blackhurst, now under renovation as a hotel, Nell traces her parentage to Rose and her husband, society portraitist Nathaniel Walkerexcept that their only daughter died at age four. Nell?s quest is interrupted at this point, but after her death in 2005, her granddaughter Cassandra takes it up. Intricate, intersecting narratives, heavy-handed fairy-tale symbolism and a giant red herring suggesting possible incest create a thicket of clues as impenetrable and treacherous as Eliza?s overgrown garden and the twisty maze on the Mountrachet estate.Murky, but the puzzle is pleasing and the long-delayed ?reveal? is a genuine surprise.
  bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 407 (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 (19 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
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary 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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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 the Authoress has disappeared without a trace. A terrible secret. On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell O'Connor 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 grand-daughter, 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.

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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.
(passion4reading)

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