Parts of this where just very contrived and forced, namely anything to do with the suffragette cause and Connie's feelings on it - maybe because it waParts of this where just very contrived and forced, namely anything to do with the suffragette cause and Connie's feelings on it - maybe because it was written by a man? As for the romance, Will and Connie's barely spend any time together, yet we're supposed to believe their love is somehow sustained over 9 years? Didn't enjoy this....more
While I read this quickly, and found most of it interesting, the ending was VERY unsatisfactory (so many things left unresolved), and, as other reviewWhile I read this quickly, and found most of it interesting, the ending was VERY unsatisfactory (so many things left unresolved), and, as other reviewers have pointed out, it really wasn't about the German boy at all. It was also a little bit plotless and meandering, as we jump from one character's life to another, as well as forward and back in time. It was written well however, and the characters well-drawn - all except for Karen, who I found changed too drastically from a very independent, bold, free-spoken single woman, into a weak-willed, gullible and needy wife, and then a strange Jew-hating matron....more
I think the main reason I didn't like this book more was that I listened to it on audio, and the woman reading had a voice that became quite grating,I think the main reason I didn't like this book more was that I listened to it on audio, and the woman reading had a voice that became quite grating, especially when she attempted Cornish and American accents. So I could never take such people as Nathaniel Walker and Christian Love Interest seriously because I was too busy cringing. But no, bad narration aside, I still had problems with the story. I forgave my first Kate Morton novel (The Distant Hours) its annoying habit of jumping around from past to present to past but before the past past to present after the present present to the past after the past past to the present to the past to the past before the past past (you get the idea), which was confusing and killed any kind of suspense, because I thought it might have been a one-off thing, an experiment with form and way of telling the story, but no for here she is again, in The Forgotten Garden doing the same thing. "Why?!" I groan with immense frustration, "Why, Ms Morton, must you do this? I would just start to get interested in a particular mystery of the story, and then she would reveal the secret far too early on to a character from the past, and then jump to a scene in the future where the main character (from the present) is still musing on the mystery and wondering and trying to figure it all out, when I, the reader, ALREADY KNOW! There is nothing, nothing more frustrating than reading a book in which you know more than the protagonist, and they lump along, shrouded in stupidity trying to figure out what you discovered chapters before. She also does this thing where a character tells someone, or discovers something that happened in the past, only to then go back to the past and tell the story you already know the ending to in excruciating detail. Oh yes, the details, the intricate BORING details that are of NO IMPORTANCE that Morton takes delight in indulging in! I couldn't care less that Nell's reading glasses are turquoise and mother-of-pearl! Get on with the flipping story! All this, and I have not yet finished with my litany of complaints! (Why have I given this book three stars? Better knock it down to two.) The characters are all fairly hard to relate to. I still don't understand why Nell, on discovering that the family she grew up with weren't her blood relations, distanced herself and shut them out for the rest of her life. Sure I can understand her wanting to discover who her biological parents were, and why on earth she had been left on that Brisbane dock and no-one ever came looking for her, but cutting herself off from the people she had grown up with and always treated as family? It makes no sense. To all intents and purposes, they WERE her family. Blood really didn't matter. She was her 'father's' favourite for pity's sake, everyone thought she was the best thing since sliced bread. And Rose. Can't relate to her all-consuming passion for a child whilst still in her early twenties, so much so that she ruins her marriage to the man she loves, her friendship with Eliza, and hatches a plot of just absurd wrongness. - And Eliza goes along with it! Can't understand that either. I guessed plenty of 'twists' well before they were revealed, but also guessed at a twist that kept being hinted at but never eventuated. I was sure that Linus had forced himself upon his sister Georgiana and that Eliza was the child, hence the reason Georgiana fled home and never came back, but no, it was not the case. Linus was simply creepy and obsessed with his sister and then her daughter and then her daughter. Linus, in fact, didn't really need to be in the story at all, he added nothing to it. At times I found myself getting caught up, but ultimately, the story could have been told a better way....more
I knew I'd love this book when I opened it up and saw that the author had written (among others) a non-fiction book titled Who's Who in Enid Blyton. CI knew I'd love this book when I opened it up and saw that the author had written (among others) a non-fiction book titled Who's Who in Enid Blyton. Classic. It's 1954, and six-foot-nothing Penelope Wallace lives with her younger brother Inigo, and her beautiful mother Talitha in their enormous family 'home', Milton Magna. It is falling apart, yet they cannot afford to repair it, and their financial struggles are becoming concerning. (Sound familiar, Dodie Smith fans?) Penelope studies English and Italian in London, and works one day a week in an antique shop in Bath, but her real passion is for singer Johnnie Ray. Inigo dreams of becoming a rock and roll sensation himself, whilst their mother moons around, trying to forget their money woes by spending what they have on Dior. Then Penelope, quite by chance, meets Charlotte. And Charlotte introduces her to her cousin, would-be magician Harry, with his two-coloured eyes, and his mother, Aunt Clare. Harry has just lost his girl, Marina, to another, richer, man, and is determined to get her back. He sees Penelope as the perfect girl to help him in his scheme of driving Marina mad with jealousy, but Penelope's not sure she wants to participate... Funny and charming, I read this book straight through in less than a day.
Every time I think of 'Julian the Loaf', I get the giggles!...more