Book Review: The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton

Title: The Forgotten Garden: A Novel
Author: Kate Morton
ISBN: 9781416550556
Pages: 560
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publisher 
Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Summary:

When she is eighteen years old, Nell is told by her father that she isn’t her parents’ natural daughter.  She was found alone on a passenger boat at the age of 4; the only clue to her origins was a book of fairytales she was found with.  Years later, after Nell’s death, her granddaughter Cassandra follows in Nell’s footsteps in order to uncover the mystery behind her grandmother’s origins.

Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton.  I thought it was a thrilling and well-crafted gothic mystery.  Therefore, when I had the chance to review the paperback release of The Forgotten Garden, I jumped at it.  Though I approached this book with some trepidation because of my high expectations and some mixed reviews I’d read, I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent reading it.

Though The Forgotten Garden is clearly a long book, it goes very fast.  The story is so engrossing that the reader forgets the novel’s length as they become absorbed in what is going on.  Morton keeps the book interesting through multiple narrators in different time periods.  Though this has the potential to get confusing, it never is.  The author is amazing at creating distinct voices and personalities for each of these women. 

Additionally, I was impressed by how interested I was in each storyline.  Often, when a book jumps narrators, the reader is invested in some stories more than others.  In this case, I was equally enthralled by every plotline.  I devoured this book, savoring each word that Morton gave me.  I can’t describe how much I enjoyed the process of reading The Forgotten Garden.

Morton also creates a wonderful atmosphere in The Forgotten Garden. Though it isn’t nearly as creepy as many gothic mysteries, it still has an aura of mystery surrounding it.  The mystery itself was intricate and well-written.  I was very impressed by the fact that I never felt Morton was dragging things out in order to increase the length of the book.  It was as long as it needed to be to properly tell the story.

As this review makes clear, I absolutely loved The Forgotten Garden.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten so thoroughly lost in a novel.  I can’t wait until her next one, The Distant Hours, comes out!

Comments

  1. I’ve been anxiously waiting to hear about this one! I loved Riverton as well on audio. I was completely sucked in, although it did seem a little bit long. I’m now off to see if my library is carrying this one! Thanks for the thumbs up!

  2. I’ve been anxiously waiting to hear about this one! I loved Riverton as well on audio. I was completely sucked in, although it did seem a little bit long. I’m now off to see if my library is carrying this one! Thanks for the thumbs up!

  3. I absolutely adored The Forgotten Garden. It was near the top of my Best of 2009 list (Bested only by The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I believe).

    This is one of those books that will appeal to an incredibly wide range of readers with specific tastes — readers of women’s fiction, mystery readers, light fantasy readers. That wide appeal makes this one of the best-read and best-loved books at my library! I don’t think it’s gone more than a couple of weeks on the shelves since I got it in last May.

  4. I absolutely adored The Forgotten Garden. It was near the top of my Best of 2009 list (Bested only by The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I believe).

    This is one of those books that will appeal to an incredibly wide range of readers with specific tastes — readers of women’s fiction, mystery readers, light fantasy readers. That wide appeal makes this one of the best-read and best-loved books at my library! I don’t think it’s gone more than a couple of weeks on the shelves since I got it in last May.

  5. I snagged this one in audio and I’m really looking forward to it. Why oh why do I never have time for the backlist?

  6. I snagged this one in audio and I’m really looking forward to it. Why oh why do I never have time for the backlist?

  7. Glad to hear that this was such a good read for you! Like you, I have heard mixed things about it, but after reading your review I think I might give it a go! Great review, and thanks!

  8. Glad to hear that this was such a good read for you! Like you, I have heard mixed things about it, but after reading your review I think I might give it a go! Great review, and thanks!

  9. A very good friend of mine raves about this book every chance she gets and says basically the same things. I need to get hold of it!

  10. A very good friend of mine raves about this book every chance she gets and says basically the same things. I need to get hold of it!

  11. This sounds great! Morton is definitely on my radar!

  12. This sounds great! Morton is definitely on my radar!

  13. sounds like a must read,Thanks! for the review!

  14. sounds like a must read,Thanks! for the review!

  15. I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a while now, but have been putting it off partly because of all the mixed reviews I’ve seen. Your review makes me excited about it again!

  16. I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a while now, but have been putting it off partly because of all the mixed reviews I’ve seen. Your review makes me excited about it again!

  17. I often find novels with multiple narrators (or jumping from character to character) confusing. I am interested to see what Morton did to make this more palatable for the reader. She sounds like a wonderful writer, and that it might be a great audio book. I have never thought about it before, but it does seem that the gothic genre would translate well to audio.

    Thanks for another great book idea!

  18. I often find novels with multiple narrators (or jumping from character to character) confusing. I am interested to see what Morton did to make this more palatable for the reader. She sounds like a wonderful writer, and that it might be a great audio book. I have never thought about it before, but it does seem that the gothic genre would translate well to audio.

    Thanks for another great book idea!

  19. I’ve been on a kick recently trying to find books that have fairy tales embedded into them. This might be added to the list.

  20. I’ve been on a kick recently trying to find books that have fairy tales embedded into them. This might be added to the list.

  21. I have to get going on this book. It has been on my Kindle forever. I loved House at Riverton, some I am hopeful about this one. Glad you loved it

  22. I have to get going on this book. It has been on my Kindle forever. I loved House at Riverton, some I am hopeful about this one. Glad you loved it

  23. I really wanted to love this book, but sadly it didn’t work for me at all :\ I’m glad to hear you did, though! The way you felt about it was how I wanted to feel 😛

  24. I really wanted to love this book, but sadly it didn’t work for me at all :\ I’m glad to hear you did, though! The way you felt about it was how I wanted to feel 😛

  25. I’m so glad you liked this one so much! I don’t read a lot of mysteries but this one really intrigues me and I have it on my wishlist…hope to get it soon!

  26. I’m so glad you liked this one so much! I don’t read a lot of mysteries but this one really intrigues me and I have it on my wishlist…hope to get it soon!

  27. Whew–this got picked by my book club and I wasn’t really sure it was going to be something that would work for us. Sounds like it was a good choice.

  28. Whew–this got picked by my book club and I wasn’t really sure it was going to be something that would work for us. Sounds like it was a good choice.

  29. I’ve had this on my shelf (and The House at Riverton) for too long. I need to read both of them. I’m glad to hear you liked it so much!

  30. I’ve had this on my shelf (and The House at Riverton) for too long. I need to read both of them. I’m glad to hear you liked it so much!

  31. Gail Edler ... Salisbury, Md says:

    I just finished reading this book and it had to be the BEST book I have ever read .. I love it dearly .. Thank you Kate Morton for writing such a sweet book.

  32. Gail Edler ... Salisbury, Md says:

    I just finished reading this book and it had to be the BEST book I have ever read .. I love it dearly .. Thank you Kate Morton for writing such a sweet book.

  33. This has been one of my favorite books that I have read this year. Kate Morton’s writing was amazing! I loved how she tied everything together at the end.

  34. This has been one of my favorite books that I have read this year. Kate Morton’s writing was amazing! I loved how she tied everything together at the end.

Trackbacks

  1. […] “Often, when a book jumps narrators, the reader is invested in some stories more than others.  In this case, I was equally enthralled by every plotline.  I devoured this book, savoring each word that Morton gave me.  I can’t describe how much I enjoyed the process of reading The Forgotten Garden.” – S. Krishna’s Books […]

  2. […] S. Krishna’s Books A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore Book […]

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