Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Living in Australia, Nell knows that her earliest past is a mystery. She only knows that she arrived on a ship and was left at the wharf, alone, save for a small suitcase carrying an illustrated book of fairy tales. Her journey to discover her beginnings will eventually be taken up by her granddaughter, Cassandra, who must travel across time and around the world to get to the bottom of a family mystery that begins on a beautiful piece of coastline in England.
I love family history stories in general, so I'm not surprised that this one caught my fancy early on. We move between time periods often - to Victorian England, Australia in the 70s, England in the present day, trying to piece together the story of Nell's family. It took me a while to keep people and places straight but once I did, I was pleasantly engaged. I liked its parallels to The Secret Garden but I loved the ways that it was different - the creepy characters, the dark and foggy streets of Victorian London, such a contrast to the garden itself. I didn't have every twist figured out beforehand and the narrative felt tight. I had a hard time believing EVERY piece of the puzzle, but I can't deny that I was always eager to pick this up.
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