Bows Bangles & Bakes Book Review -The Forgotten Garden

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Does anyone else ever find themselves in a bit of a book genre rut? Well not necessarily a rut, but I go through phases where I read load of books of the same genre or by the same author. I appear to be in bit of a "historical fiction" phase at present.

After reading The Unseen, I went on to read The Legacy, which is by the same author. Whilst trying to source the next book by Katherine Webb, I decided to do a quick Google search to see if I could find any similar authors. One of the ones that came up was Kate Morton, and I downloaded a copy of The Forgotten Garden to my Kindle.

"1913 On the eve of the First World War, a little girl is found abandoned after a gruelling ocean voyage from England to Australia. All she can remember of the journey is that a mysterious woman she calls the Authoress had promised to look after her. But the Authoress has vanished without a trace. 1975 Now an old lady, Nell travels to England to discover the truth about her parentage. Her quest leads her to Cornwall, and to a beautiful estate called Blackhurst Manor, which had been owned by the Mountrachet family. What has prompted Nell’s journey after all these years? 2005 On Nell’s death, her granddaughter, Cassandra, comes into a surprise inheritance. Cliff Cottage, in the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, is notorious amongst the locals for the secrets it holds – secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is at Cliff Cottage, abandoned for years, and in its forgotten garden, that Cassandra will uncover the truth about the family and why the young Nell was abandoned all those decades before."

Like The Unseen, The Forgotten Garden shifts between timelines - but just to complicate things this shifts between the late 1800's to the early 1900's, the 1970's and the present day. It sounds like it would be rather complicated, but actually it's reasonably simple to keep up with. It explains the story really well, and weaves in and out of the modern day story of Cassandra following her family history.

What I particularly liked about the Forgotten Garden, is that Cassandra was able to discover a large amount of the information, that you as the reader knew as well. Clearly as the reader we were privy to richer detail and emotions, and more in depth explanations for what happened, but we discover the answers as Cassandra does. There are a number of twists and turns towards the end, and just as you think you've figured it out, something else occurs that takes the story in a completely different direction. It's difficult to say too much without giving away the ending, but I certainly didn't figure it out until almost the last second!

As a writer Kate Morton's attention to detail really does paint the image right inside your head - the added bonus of a map (available online if not included in your copy/kindle version) only Improves this further. Her writing style is perhaps a bit long winded for some, but personally I liked the rich descriptions she provides.

I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden, and I will certainly be reading some more of her work - her current novel is The Secret Keeper and the blurb sounds just as intriguing as this one.

Hopefully, I will try to start reading some other styles of books to share with you soon! Once I've got a few more of these out of my system!


1 comment :

  1. I love this book! I've read all of Kate Morton's, The House at Riverton is great also :)


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