Book Review: The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden

Kate Morton

Washington Square Press

560 pages

Nell is an older woman living in Australia who is attempting to trace her parentage.  Her adopted parents had found her abandoned and alone after she got off a boat from England at age four.  She is unable to tell them anything about her family or where she came from, so the only clue her parents have is the small suitcase Nell has with her and the fact that she was put on te boat by “the Authoress”.

Now, as an older woman, Nell is determined to discover her true parentage.  She seems to be on the right path when her no good daughter drops Nells’s granddaughter, Cassandra, off on her doorstep.  Nell’s quest to discover the truth is derailed by the new responsibility she has to her granddaughter, so her search comes to a halt.  After Nell’s death in 2005, Cassandra discovers the questions her grandmother had about her own ancestry, and Cassandra drops everything in order to unravel the mystery.

I had never read anything by Morton, but I have read plenty of reviews of her novels, so I went out and bought this  book and another of her books a few months ago.  I must admit I am also a glutton for literary mysteries as well, so I had no doubts that I would enjoy Morton’s books.

I think the actual storyline was pretty fantastic.  There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me engaged and the relationships between different family members seemed so intricate and interesting that I was really drawn in.  I did, however, find that the book lagged a little bit in places.  I always find that it can be a bit more difficult to keep a reader engaged if a book is longer than usual.  The book must have a little something special to warrant the extra length, and I am not sure The Forgotten Garden had that. Regardless, that is a small complaint for a book that I found to be truly entertaining.  I will definitely be reading more fro Morton in the future.

Other Reviews:

things mean a lot

S Krishna’s Books

Bibliophile by the Sea

Lit and Life

Lesley’s Book Nook

I purchased this book at Barnes & Noble.

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5 Responses

  1. I did feel like this one could have been better. The mystery and the story of Nell’s parentage were really interesting but I had some problems buying into some of the plot points.

  2. I read The House at Riverton by this author and enjoyed it immensely. I’ve been wanting to read this book every since then. Great review!

  3. I just read a review of another Morton book over at Shelf Love and Teresa had a similar problem with pacing and the book being overly long/detailed. This specific title is Amazon’s number one recommendation for me, but based on your review, I’m not sure if I would like it all that much. I admit that the summary sounds awesome, but I HATE books that feel like they desperately need an editor.

  4. I haven’t read this book, but like Steph, I did read about a couple of other bloggers having a similar experience.

    Glad to see I haven’t missed out on much, although I am really tempted to read this book…

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