This is our May 2010 book club choice, and while I liked it a lot, I didn't love it. It reminded me a bit of hallmark movies - they are great to watch while knitting, but don't have a whole lot of substance.
This one was cozy and sweet, a mystery revolving around the real identity of Nell, a little girl who was mysteriously left alone on a ship bound to Australia from London. She was adopted by a loving family, but once she found out that she wasn't born to them, she begins to unravel her past, with the clues found in her little suitcase with which she arrived. An entertaining, twisted history of pride, upper crust Brits, low marriages, work houses, antique shops, cottages by the sea, gardens, hedge mazes, betrayals, loves, hatreds and some lovely fairy tales. The book spans the late 1800's to present time and tells the story from the point of view of th women of 4 generations.
While the story does go back and forth through the different time periods, after getting to know the characters, that was not much of an issue for me. I found the part which took place in the 1900s intriguing, the 1970's somewhat inconsequential, and the post 2005 OK. I figured it out somewhere around the middle, but found the ending a bit contrived.