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