The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Good Reads 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 Thoughts: I found this book about three years ago while scouring the shelves at Half Price Books, and added it to my To-Read pile. After being on national tours for two years, I am finally getting back to all of my non-ebooks that I couldn’t carry in my suitcase, and I am so glad that I finally got to this one. I loved this book. I am a sucker for a good period, family flash-back story and Kate Morton delivered with The Forgotten Garden. I expected the two winding story lines of Nell and Cassandra, but was pleasantly surprised with the third story line of Eliza Makepeace. Sometimes flash-back stories can get a bit confusing, but I didn’t find that with this one. I always knew where I was, and the information revealed in each section was the perfect amount to keep me hooked, waiting for more. All of the secrets and details connected beautifully and very clearly. I loved being able to piece together the mystery connecting these three women, and every small revelation got my heart beating with excitement as I discovered another detail. I was instantly drawn in and connected to the characters, especially to Eliza. I love how she fights against the societal norms of the period, and watching how others react to her was both entertaining and frustrating. I stayed up way past my bed time to finish this one because I could not sleep until I found out what had happened to her. Although I did like the other characters and their arcs, I found myself pushing through their timelines to get back to Eliza as fast as I could. It is a beautifully tragic story that haunted me for days after the last page. Kate Morton definitely got me with this one, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.