The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

My sister got The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton for Christmas. Since I’ve already read all my Christmas books, I snagged hers because she’s in the middle of another book and won’t get to this one for a while. I had read about this on a blog (I’m sorry, I would link but I’ve forgotten which blog it was) and thought the story sounded interesting. Having read The Secret Garden at an impressionable age, I have an affinity for walled in gardens.

The premise of the story is that a four year old girl is put on a ship traveling from England to Australia in 1913, and told to hide by her traveling companion, The Authoress, until the woman gets back. The little girl waits and waits, but the lady doesn’t return and she is forced to travel to Australia by herself. She plays with the other children on the boat, below-decks, and everyone thinks she belongs to one of the families in steerage. Until they arrive the their destination, that is, and there is no one to claim her. The harbor master finds her after everyone else has left, just sitting on the dock, waiting. He takes her home and eventually raises her as his own.

The little girl doesn’t remember her name so the harbor master and his wife call her Nell. But who is she? And why did she have to make the voyage by herself? Criss-crossing through time and countries, Kate Morton tells the tale of  a well-to-do English family and the secrets they are hiding. There is a mystery involved but it’s not the who-dunnit kind. It’s more trying to figure out why one person did this which caused another to do that.

I love this book! Kate Morton’s style is rich and full, and her characters are so real that you can imagine yourself in the book at any point. I am at the most delicious part – almost to the end – where everything is starting to make sense. Some things I guessed and others caught me by surprise. I am intrigued to find out how it all winds up in the end. This is the part of the book where time is not on my side. I am like an addict sneaking away to get my fix when I should be doing other things (like getting to work) and yet I can’t help myself. I NEED to know what happens next.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

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5 Responses to “The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton”

  1. Helen Says:

    I can’t wait to read MY book!

  2. Monica Says:

    I finished reading her other two books and can’t believe how satisfied I feel at the end of them — this is the one I haven’t because the premise of ” a house” which plays the central role in both other books isnt followed- but youve convinced me!

    • Cats, Books, Life is Good Says:

      We also have The Distant Hours by Morton which I’m looking forward to reading. I was tempted to dive right into it but I wanted to let this one “breathe” for a while. Parts of it keep coming to mind and I don’t want to do anything to change that.

  3. Monica Says:

    That’s exactly the way I feel about The Distant Hours, there’s this mystery that haunts you the whole time you’re reading it and then when you’re done there are just pieces you can’t let go! Enjoy, I’d love to see a post about it when you finish it-

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