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The Forgotten Garden

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  129,487 ratings  ·  13,857 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 549 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Washington Square Press (first published 2008)
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Janith Pathirage From the 50 pages I read so far, I don't see any connection or resemblance to The Secret Garden. This is a completely different type of a story. And…moreFrom the 50 pages I read so far, I don't see any connection or resemblance to The Secret Garden. This is a completely different type of a story. And I'm enjoying it !(less)
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Kat Kennedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aussie author Kate Morton deftly managed to push nearly every one of my reading buttons with her lovely book, The Forgotten Garden:

1. Not so young woman with a haunted past - check
2. Not-so-fairy-Grandmother who bequeaths said woman an old house with a mysterious history - check
3. Said old, mysterious house is actually a cottage on the wild Cornish coast, complete with a hidden garden, a handsome neighbor, and the faintest suggestion of the supernatural - check
4. Said woman embarks on a quest to
While this is ostensibly a novel of secrets spanning four generations, most of the “secrets” are fairly obvious. I kept waiting for the blow to fall — murder? incest? buried treasure?? Alas, no. The narration shifts among different-but-related storylines, all of which, to be fair, I found intriguing: in 1913 a child who can’t remember her name turns up on an Australian dock carrying a book of fairy tales; in 2005 her granddaughter tries to uncover the mysteries of a hidden garden in Cornwall; in ...more
Sometimes when people keep recommending a book, you should listen and read that book. The Forgotten Garden is such a book. You finally read it and end up wondering why in the world you waited so long. Kate Morton provides the intricate layering of different times and places in a masterful manner, gifting the reader with a story that captures the imagination and heart completely. Nell, as the lost child, is the pivotal character around which all mysteries and actions revolve. A tale that begins i ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Cheryl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys reading gentler books
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an easy read, and yet gave me room to pause as I stopped to think. I like books that let me do that without pounding me into a pulp on the way. I suspect the book might appeal more to women then men and it would be a good choice of several of the reading circles I know.

My only regret: that Eliza's book of fairy tales isn't a real book.

Things I like knowing before I buy a book: No profanity that I noticed. Respectful story-specific reference to sex. Emotiona
I became quite enchanted with this tale and really loved the interwoven bewitching dark fairy tales that added more dimensions to this novel. It was a mystery that had me second guessing myself several times. Every time I had it all figured out a new chink was added to the chain of clues. I think the style of writing was superbly done, not often can I say that. I loved the way each chapter transported me to another time and a different POV spanning the generation of women in the family. I did fi ...more
I am breaking silence here to gush about Kate Morton. Her fiction is carefully researched and crafted, and the writing itself is luminous. The Forgotten Garden unwinds like a fairy tale, slowly curling off the spool where ambiguously benefic crones have wound it. We jump back and forth between present-day Australia where a young woman mourns the mysterious grandmother who inspired her as a child, to England at the turn of the last century where an affluent family in a small coastal town conspire ...more
Barbara Mader
***Added Later:

My summary of this book would have to be this: it is an oddly-plotted book about very stupid people written in lovely language.

But oh, the idiot characters. Honestly. Why would Nell be such a twitty jerk to her fiance and adoptive family? Why on earth would Eliza act as she did? Sorry; don't buy it.


Figured out what "happened" (the mystery of the little girl on the boat) earlier on and scanned much of the rest. Didn't find the characters' behavior believable.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I loved every page of this book, including the hokey stuff.
This is definitely comfort reading, but it's not chick lit and it's not oversimplified. It had enough plot complexity to keep my grown-up mind engaged. At the same time, it had enough enchantment and mystery to appeal to the little girl I once was. I was happy to discover that little girl is still in there, and she still believes in magical gardens and strange coincidences.

This is a long and lovely story about a woman who made the wrong
I read 549 pages and that was the reveal? Really?

God, I was bored. I only stuck it out because I figured the book had to be building up to something. And I suppose that technically, it was. Just not anything particularly interesting or worth waiting for. I get it, everyone in the book has mother/child abandonment issues.

I think this book really wanted to be The Thirteenth Tale, but didn't have the balls (if you pardon the inaccurate expression, what with how female-centric both titles are). Now
Franco  Santos
Kate Morton... qué escritora.

Morton escribe sus libros en dos tiempos, como mínimo. Este, por ejemplo, esta en tres. Siempre sus novelas tienen lugar en familias aristocráticas, característica que me encanta. Amo esa ambientación de casas lujosas, sus reglas, sus títulos...

En cuanto a su manera de narrar, su prosa es exquisita; cómo nos cuenta la historia, cómo nos absorbe en sus páginas, personajes sumamente reales y desarrollados... Kate nació para escribir. No le puedo pedir nada más. En nin

I found this as engrossing as her debut which I read earlier this year. This time Kate Morton has written an intriguing mystery that started in the 1900’s and is not fully unravelled until 2005. It is told as three stories covering three generations combining to give us clues along the way.
Maybe the ending was a little predictable but I certainly did not guess all the answers to the mysteries along the way.
The protagonist is Nell around who the whole myste
I feel a bit conflicted about what rating to give this book. On the one hand, I loved and devoured the last three hundred pages of this book. I found Cassandra, Nell, and Eliza to all be compelling characters and I grew attached to each of them individually. The writing is really beautiful, even poetic in parts, and I loved the weaving of Eliza's fairy tales throughout. I also really enjoyed the setup of the book, with the three women narrating and the way Morton wove everything together so nice ...more
If you are looking for a good story to escape into for a while, look no further. The Forgotten Garden weaves a tangled tale of family secrets, kept hidden for generations. Kate Morton does an excellent job of creating mystery and intrigue that spans generations as one woman searches for her true identity and finds her family in an unexpected place along the way. Good Stuff!

Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Nov 30, 2012 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Australian Author
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Group Read Nov-12
good: 3 stars. First off if you’re a Kate Morton fan you’ll love it. Definitely its strongest points were the weaving of Grimm style fairytales and a hidden garden into the story; I’m a sucker for both. Her characterizations are strong; Eliza Makepeace was terrific, definitely the most memorable of the lot. Other standouts included the simpering Rose & Adeline, her social climbing psycho of a mother. They were both so over-the-top weird, I found them fascinating.
not so good: The constan
I listened to the audio book version and really enjoyed it. I have a different standard for audio books (than I do for books I read myself in a printed format). They have to be read at a pace that allows me to understand what's being said (the actual words being read) and what's happening in the story while I'm driving my car, the voice of the reader has to be pleasant and agreeable and the story has to hold my attention. I'm generally able to suspend disbelief more easily when I'm listening to ...more
Tiffany Skinner
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I was ready to love this book from the moment I heard about it. The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books, and stories about family secrets and hidden rooms and stuff like that are like catnip to me. And the bare bones of this story is indeed pretty satisfying. Unfortunately, the execution of it ruined most of my enjoyment, and I decided halfway through that I wasn’t going to read any more of this author’s books. I’ve been really excited about two of her books now, and both have been complet ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
A multi-generational mystery that reveals itself bit by haunting bit, about three women:

- Eliza, born in the late 1800s, who is born into poverty in London, to a young woman who had run away from her upper crust home for reasons that become clear later in the story, and who is found and pulled back into her wealthy family's embrace (or maybe it's their tentacles).

- Nell, born in 1909, who is found sitting on her suitcase on an Australian ship dock in 1913, adamantly refusing to say where she ca
"The Forgotten Garden" was rather disappointing, as I was sure that I would love this book. Secrets, mystery, a hidden garden...these are ingredients that I love. Just not the most fortunate use for them in this plot.

For one thing, this book should have been half its length - so many and not particularly beautiful descriptions, detailed rendering of unimportant gestures and unnecessary talk. And the secrets were not really secrets, I could glimpse at several possibilities, one of which turned o
Μόλις έκλεισα την 665η σελίδα του «Σαν παραμύθι» και μπορώ να πω ότι και οι 665 σελίδες ήταν υπέροχες. Δεν περίμενα να με συνεπάρει σε τέτοιο βαθμό, γνώριζα ότι ένα τόσο μεγάλο βιβλίο, δεν μπορεί να μην είναι φλύαρο και κουραστικό. Κι όμως δεν με κούρασε καθόλου, είχε άρωμα παραμυθιού αλλά η γεύση του, αυτό που σε κρατά, είναι το μυστήριο, η αγωνία για την λύση του. Μετά από αυτή την καταπληκτική γνωριμία μου με την Κέϊτ Μόρτον δεν γίνεται παρά να αναζητήσω με ανυπομονησία και τα άλλα της έργα, ...more
“...She's understood the power of stories. Their magical ability to refill the wounded part of people.”

Truer words have never been spoken. Stories have a healing power unlike anything else in the world; at least for me, anyway. Whenever I find myself down I can always rely on a book to help me out. There are a few books in my arsenal that I have come to rely on over the years that I hold dear to my heart. They are the books I turn to the most when times are tough. I am so happy to have found ano
Es oficial amo a Morton, generalmente en historias con varias voces o en varios tiempos estoy más interesada en unos personajes que en otros,pero con sus libros simplemente quiero saberlo todo sobre todos.

Tiene la habilidad de mantenerme metida en la historia a pasar de ya saber cual es el misterio,porque creo que su fuerte esta en que no importa el qué sino el cómo y es eso lo que no sabes hasta las ultimas páginas.Si hasta llegué a soñar con el libro.

Al principio estaba enojada con Nell,encont
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
I would give this book a 10 if I could. Loved it...absolutely amazing....the writing is a masterpiece.

All the mysteries and secrets of the Mountrachet family are revealed....the ending is superb.

The story goes back and forth in time telling the story of how little Nell was put on a boat to Australia without an adult and how the portmaster and his wife in Australia took her in as their own. Nell's life makes a complete turn around for her when her father tells her on her 21st birthday that she i
Jul 09, 2010 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers who enjoyed <i>Possession</i>
I almost didn't buy this book. I got my copy at the used book stall at the local Spring Fair. I was little torn about it. The phrase "New York Times Bestseller" usually means I won't like it (take, for instance, my reaction to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane). Then I read the back and looked at the inside cover. Anything that uses Arthur Rackham (Illustrator) pictures deserves a shot, and it was only two dollars.

I'm glad I give this book a chance because it is good.

The Forgotten Garden is v
This is a really an unputdownable book, and quite a quick read despite being over 600 pages long. I have to say I liked it much more than House at Riverton. The plot is a fascinating one, and the narrative moves back and forth in time. We meet Nell as a young child, a woman in her sixties and as she lies dying aged 95. The action takes us from Brisbane Australia in 2005, and the 1970's, to the London of 1900 and 2005, and also to cornwall of the early 1900's and the 1970's and again 2005. The no ...more
“Memory is a cruel mistress with whom we all must learn to dance.”

It took me a while to fall in love with this book, but I did. I'm a sucker for books where past and present intertwine somehow, especially when suspense is on its high point. This book had the right twists, even though some of them were predictable, and ended in a good place.

A child is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. Nell, the lost child, is the pivotal character around all mysteries and actions revolve. Thi

I am almost ashamed to admit I liked it, but The Forgotten Garden pleased me in many ways. Mostly I fell in love because it put me back into the delicious reading mode of The Secret Garden, one of my most loved books as a young girl. In fact, this piece of women's fiction is The Secret Garden for grown-up females. Frances Hodgeson Burnett even makes a cameo appearance.

The book has everything: an orphan, a mystery, three generations, Australia, an English manor house, romance, and a secret garden
Historic Fiction/Mystery Depressing

A beautifully written tale, but it seemed to go on and on, becoming hopelessly morose by the mid-point and, unfortunately, fully succumbing by the end.

There are four timelines running throughout, five protagonists, which, in my way of thinking, is at least one too many, especially with a few fairy tales thrown in for good measure.

At over 20 hours of audio, I listened to this over the course of two weeks. While I am blessed to be a naturally happy person, I mu
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KATE MORTON grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and three young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specialising in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels. Kate harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she became sidetracked writing novels, and still feels a pang of longing ...more
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“You make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing.” 308 likes
“Memory is a cruel mistress with whom we all must learn to dance.” 305 likes
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