The Forgotten Garden Synopsis
Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.
But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace Rutherford – the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early 20th century – as well as a cliff-top cottage on the other side of the world, Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell, on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself. (Audible.com)
It is hard to say too much about this novel’s storyline without giving away key elements of the mystery, so I will focus on my reading, or in this case, listening experience. A blogger whose literary recommendations I hold in high regard, Booksploring, highly recommended this novel to me, so I went in with very high expectations. I was not disappointed!
The Forgotten Garden had just the right amount of mood, mystery and complexity to reel me in and keep me hooked for the entire 20+ hours this audio book spans (560 pages in paperback).
In The Forgotten Garden Kate Morton sets scenes beautifully, with evocative descriptions of the sights, sounds and the mood of the many settings in the novel.
But evocative description alone is not enough to keep you engrossed for 20+ hours – the likeability of Morton’s characters played a crucial role, as did a charming romantic storyline that develops as the mystery unfolds.
What sets this novel apart from many is a special touch of magic introduced through the clever telling of fairy tales.
Caroline Lee’s narration is understated and let the story itself shine. I found the transitions back and forth between historical time periods, locations and protagonists easy to follow, helped in large part I believe by Lee’s character differentiation.
I highly recommend you either read, or better yet, listen to this novel, The Forgotten Garden. Kate Morton is a wonderfully engaging storyteller so be prepared for not wanting to leave once you open the door to The Forgotten Garden!
BOOK RATING: The Story 5 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Drama, Historical, Audio
Author Information: Kate Morton, originally from South Australia, grew up and still lives in my home town and attended the same university I did, The University of Queensland. Always so nice to hear of a fellow alumni achieving such great success.
– Check out Morton’s excellent website, where you can listen to Kate reading the first chapter of The Forgotten Garden, and access reading group questions