The Women’s Book Reviews website has received and posted hundreds of book reviews this past year, and certain books stand out as definite crowd pleasers.
One of these books is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This is an enchanting story following three generations of women in both England and Australia.
The story begins in the year 1913 with a young girl, Nell, found all alone on a ship in Australia which just arrived from England. She is carrying a white suitcase which holds a beautiful book of magical fairytales written by author, Eliza Makepeace Rutherford. The dock master takes Nell home and he and his wife raise her as their own child. On Nell’s 21st birthday, she is told the truth about how she came to be part of the family. This knowledge changes her life and she is determined solve the mystery of where she really came from and why her family left her all alone in a strange country .
Nell tells nobody about this shocking new information about herself, but she starts to do some research. However, it is up to her granddaughter, Cassandra, to actually make the
trip to England from Australia upon the death of her grandmother. From Nell, Cassandra has inherited the book of fairytales and a little cottage in England. She is very curious as to where her grandmother came upon these possessions.
The story jumps back and forth between the years 1913, 1975 and 2005 and between Cornwall, England and Brisbane, Australia. This could be very confusing for some, but as
you get to know the characters in the novel, this movement back and forth becomes seamless and logical. It helps the flow of the story.
There is a love story intertwined and there is a complicated family history that is brought to light. Of course, as the name of the book announces, there is a special garden that is central to the story. The characters are all well-developed and the reader becomes totally engrossed in this 600+ page book. Trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together was a challenge, but it all does come together in the end.
I will close this entry with a quote from one of the reviewers on The Women’s Book Reviews website, “This is the best book I've read this year - thank you, Kate Morton!”