Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Review - The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden
by Kate Morton

There is an abundance of information about The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Google the title and read frequently asked questions answered by the author.

By doing so, you will find that The Forgotten Garden is based on a true event in Kate Morton’s family which determined in Ms. Morton’s own words that “…one day I would write a story about someone who experienced a similar life-changing confession.” Ms. Morton childhood readings included The Faraway Tree, Anne of Green Gables, and numerous fairy tales. She reflects that these books sparked in her “…a lifetime love of English countryside, dark, creepy woods, and hidden mysteries.”  The 19th century gothic conventions like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights also impacted her as a writer. 

Take all these literary influences and you have a frame for The Forgotten Garden. It is a mystery of a child abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. The youngster does not know her name or why she is on the ship. Eventually “Nell” begins a journey to discover herself and her elusive past. Cassandra, her granddaughter, continues the journey to find that families have secrets which destroy some people while binding others in surprising ways. There are love stories on multiple levels with different motivations for each relationship that cause lovers to questions their feelings and ponder how to cope with their own emotions. 

It is maybe helpful to make a diagram while reading The Forgotten Garden as the character’s relationships can become a bit of a maze, both literally and figuratively. Ms. Morton takes 3 women in 3 different times and intertwines their lives in such a way that the reader wants to keep turning the pages to solve the mystery.

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