Friday, March 2, 2012

Book Review: The Forgotten Garden

Last month,a friend and I started our first book club. It was sooooooo much fun. At our initial meeting, we just simply discussed our reading backgrounds and got to know each other. We put titles of books into a jar and pulled one at the end of the night to see what our first book would be. It was The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.
Picture from here

What a terrific book to start our book club with. This is a truly beautiful work. I loved everything about it. At times, I wanted it to move out of the garden more, but by then end, I was glad the author spent as much time as she did in there. Afterall, Cheri, the book is called the Forgotten Garden. Duh!

This is a tale about 4 women and how their lives were connected. Rose, Nell, Eliza, and Cassandra. The story spans over 100 years. It starts with Nell, as it should. She is an interesting character and I'm not sure I agree with her choice when she finds out that she was taken from a ship. Taken, as in, stolen when no one came to claim her on the ship dock. Ya see, Nell is placed on a ship by a mysterious woman and told not to move. The ship sets sail and lands in Australia (from England) in 1914. The dock worker sees the girl sitting on the dock long after the passengers have left. She is, of course, abandoned. He takes her in. He and his wife raise her as their own only to tell her at the age of 21 that she was taken and they are not her real family. She sets off on a course to find her real family. I can't tell you if she does find it or not- for to do so gives away too much of the plot in my opinion.

Nell passes (in the first 2 chapters) and Cassandra is left to pick up the pieces in 2005 to find out what was up with Nell. Cassandra is Nell's granddaughter. I enjoy her story as much as I did Nell's and Rose's and Eliza's. Cassandra goes on an adventure and finds out the truth to the whole story about Eliza and Rose and their connection to Nell's story and Nell.

Oh, the book is amazing. It weaves such a beautiful tale. What you should know is that Mrs. Morton writes each chapter from a different era; therefore, each chapter is about one of the 4 women and in a new setting. At first, I wasn't sure I liked it, but in the end, I wouldn't change it at all. It helped to keep up the suspense and "What!!! You gotta be kidding me" factor.

If you like Victorian era/historical fiction, scandal, mystery and drama, as well as a beautiful story that is exquisitly written, this is definitely a book to check out. I'm in love with it. Yep, it's in my top 20. Go get it, read it, relish it, and fall in love with this fascinating tale.
If you want more information on the author or the book, visit her site:

It certainly set the bar high for our next pick!

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