Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden is a captivating and atmospheric story of secrets, family and memory that I highly recommend in audiobook.
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.
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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.
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 audiobook 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 different story settings.
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.
But I think what sets this novel apart from many is a special touch of magic introduced through the clever telling of fairy tales.
Caroline Lee’s audio narration is understated and lets 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 — Overall 4.75
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Genre: Mystery, Romance, Drama, Historical, Audio
About the Auther, Kate Morton
Kate Morton is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author. Her novels – The House at Riverton/The Shifting Fog, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper, The Lake House and The Clockmaker’s Daughter – are published in over 40 countries, in 34 languages, and have all been number one bestsellers around the world.
Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland and now lives with her family in London and Australia. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, and harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she realised that it was words she loved more than performing. Kate still feels a pang of longing each time she goes to the theatre and the house lights dim. Check out her website.