Thursday, August 22
Book Review: The Forgotten Garden
Author: Kate Morton
Summary: A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book - a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.
My Rating: 8.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: While the book did start of a little slow, it eventually become one hard to put down. It had an almost gothic feel to it, with a modern twist- especially how the author set up the setting and reading atmosphere creating an engaging and enjoyable read.
I have some mixed feelings about the narrative of this one. I loved how it bounced back and forward from past, distant past and the present in the book. I think the author did a good job at keeping an even balance and ensuring there was equal time for each individual narrative, which is very impressive in my books. Often when a book is written like this, I find that some of the individual narratives are sacrificed for another, but each one gives a complete story by the time the book is done. I also thought the author managed to connect all the different elements from each individual narrative into a cohesive story. What I didn't like about it, was there were certain narratives I enjoyed more than others and some of them, while important to the story, just didn't do it for me.
Nell and the "Authoress" story were by far the strengths in the book. Cassandra's story, was where it went south for me. She wasn't a character I enjoyed and I felt how she mixed in with the book didn't exactly fit well. The hints of a romantic relationship for her, was one of my biggest irks of the book, perhaps I'm reading too much into this one, but I felt that it was rather forced.
Otherwise the story was fantastic, the mystery side of it had be guessing, then second guessing what the big secret was. The author does a good job at leading the reader of the scent, I was close with my initial guess, but even knowing one piece didn't have an effect on reading the rest of the book, as there was a whole web of plots and secrets to be revealed. All which fall back on to a little cottage on the English countryside, with a garden, maze all of which help set up a perfect reading atmosphere. Something about how the author wrote about the setting, pulled me in, making it an excellent read.
Would I recommend it to read: I would. I don't think it lives up to the hype but it was still an excellent read, and well worth reading.
What to read next: The Historian
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge