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The Forgotten Garden

December 29, 2010

The Forgotten Garden

By Kate Morton

Published 2009


When 21 year old Nell finds out that the people who raised her are not her real parents, she goes on a quest to find her birth mother, only to discover that not only was she abducted at the age of four, but that the person who stole her vanished shortly afterward.  What follows is a mystery that goes back to Nell’s great grandmother and centers around a cursed Cornish manor house with ghosts all its own including a hidden garden, a maze, and a haunted cottage by the sea.


Hurray!  Finally a novel that can compete with the likes of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.  This book has it all: ghosts, romance, mystery, scenery, passion…and it never reaches the point where it tries too hard to be like a Bronte book.  It keeps you intrigued the whole way through to the thrilling conclusion that you never saw coming.  The book is written from different perspectives and alternates between the time periods during which key events take place, from as early as 1900 all the way to 2005.  One of the characters is a writer of fairy tales for children and periodically some of those tales are intermixed into the story—just one of the many ways this book has of delighting the reader.  The writing is colorful and distinctive, with subtle variances depending on whose perspective we’re reading. 

Kate Morton also wrote The House at Riverton which was good but not as riveting as The Forgotten Garden.  I was able to figure out the mystery in the Riverton book, not the case at all in this new novel.  It is a pleasing 550+ page book, just right for whiling away the long winter hours.  Splendid.


I will recommend this to anyone, age 16 and up.  Most of the characters are women and I think this book would appeal much more to female readers, especially to fans of the Bronte sisters.


4 ½ boots!

From → Book Treks

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