Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Forgotten Garden” as Want to Read:
The Forgotten Garden
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Forgotten Garden

by
4.12  ·  Rating details ·  157,220 Ratings  ·  15,958 Reviews
From the author of The House at Riverton comes a story of outer and inner journeys. An homage to the power of storytelling, The Forgotten Garden is filled with unforgettable characters who weave their way through its intricate plot to astounding effect.
Hardcover, Large Print, 738 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Center Point (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Forgotten Garden, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Virpi This is totally deliberate. My first thought too was that she ripped of The Secret Garden (a sickly child and a forbidden garden) and I was kind of…moreThis is totally deliberate. My first thought too was that she ripped of The Secret Garden (a sickly child and a forbidden garden) and I was kind of annoyed by this , but later on when she marches F. Hodgson Burnett to the garden party my annoyance turns to admiration. Quite clever! Also, there's even discussion among the characters about a story about a secret garden and Burnett suggests a mysterious atmosphere with genuine miracles - which Burnetts's classic definitely is.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Christy
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kat Kennedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hannah by: Carol Kerry-green
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
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
God Bless A Milk Cow!

 :

Once again, most of my friends on GR loved this book to death! I'm going to quit picking books my friends love to death!

I have had this book for a year or more. I got it from the used bookstore for $1.00. I love the cover, I loved the summary and I thought I would love the book. Now, don't get me wrong. I liked the book, it just didn't take me there, wherever it took everyone else. Actually, there are 2 or 3 friends that almost everything they love, I will only like or not
...more
James
5 stars to Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden. The plot is mesmerizing and the story-telling of the grandmother and the granddaughter is unparalleled. Morton jumps from time period to time period, country to country, character to character in a flawless manner.

The imagery is astounding. The relationships are well planned. Morton keeps you guessing as to how it's all connected with the garden up front and center the whole way through the ride.

Thoroughly enjoyed the journey this book takes you o
...more
Laura
Aug 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-seller, mystery
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
Kathy
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
Cheryl
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Arah-Lynda
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, i-said
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!

Karla
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
Barbara Mader
Nov 22, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
***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.
...more
ruzmarì
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Chelsea
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
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
...more
Julie
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is a 2009 Atria publication.


I only recently discovered this author, having read her latest release, “The Lake House,” and loved it. Naturally, I wanted more!

The Forgotten Garden is just the type of novel I can lose myself in. I love family secrets within a historical setting that spans generations.

The story begins with a little girl found all alone in 1913, taken in by a couple desperate for children, raising her as their own, naming her “Nell”. Once Nell l
...more
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
...more
Franco  Santos
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Megan
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
LindyLouMac
Sep 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6...

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
...more
Kaya
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
“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 stories where past and present intertwine, especially when suspense is on its high point. This book had the right twists, even though some of them were predictable, and it ended in a good place, without unnecessary prolonging.

A child is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. Nell, the lost child, is the pivotal character around all myste
...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
...more
helen the bookowl
I know that this rating of mine is going to be highly unpopular because this specific book seems to have enchanted loads and loads of people. It has an average rating of 4.17 stars here in Goodreads, and while I was reading it people kept sharing their love for this book and this author.
"The Forgotten Garden" was my first book by Kate Morton, and I think it's going to be my last as well. That's because I have a feeling that once you've read one of her books, you know what her stories and her wr
...more
Ema
"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
...more
Barb
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
Elyse
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book!!! I rate this 4.5 stars. A wonderful 'epic' journey with characters 'not' to be forgotten. Its a rich and satisfying engaging story.
Given the length of this book (500+ pages)---its amazing how easy it is to retain all the many details and every new character who gets introduced (must credit the writer).

This book just 'flows'. Its the type of book I would have loved to read in the winter --curled up on the couched on a few cold chilly days-- read 'non-stop'....(but I didn't hav
...more
Ashley
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
Yani
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aviso: la reseña tiene spoilers que oculté debidamente, cosa que este libro no hace, tal como dejé aclarado en una nota en el final.

Debo admitir que compré el libro tironeada por el “Primera Guerra Mundial” que se lee en la sinopsis de la edición, ya que creí que la parte del pasado estaría ambientada en ese hecho. Sin embargo, apenas roza el año en que ocurrió e inesperadamente me vi envuelta en otra clase de historia, una que oscila entre la identidad y el amor (no necesariamente hacia una p
...more
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]

Have you ever read a book and thought how can I review that?  How can I show just how powerful and wise the words were?  What way could I portray that slow tantalising reveal of long forgotten family secrets. How could I do it justice? That was my dilemma on finishing The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  So I'm skipping the review and letting Kate's own words do all the hard graft for me!

 
5 Inspirational Quotes - The Forgotten Garden by Kat
...more
Tiffany Skinner
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Enchantress  debbicat ☮
Highly enjoyable. I did not expect to like this so much! It's a beautiful, well written story I became fully engaged in. I loved the characters, setting, everything about it. I can see myself reading this again in a year or two. There is sadness, tragedy, joy, and triumph. All the great elements of good literature. It's mainly about 3 strong women and the choices they live and die by. This is not a great review. I just felt so much reading this book, I can't really get my thoughts together well ...more
Grace
Aug 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Winter Sea (Slains, #1)
  • The Legacy
  • The Devlin Diary (Claire Donovan #2)
  • Prayers for Sale
  • Wildflower Hill
  • The Tenth Gift
  • The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2)
  • Juliet
  • Arcadia Falls
  • A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily, #2)
  • Russian Winter
  • The House of Velvet and Glass
  • The Haunting of Maddy Clare
  • The Orchid House
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
  • Roses
  • Moloka'i
  • The Lost Hours
615274
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
More about Kate Morton...

Share This Book

“You make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing.” 369 likes
“Memory is a cruel mistress with whom we all must learn to dance.” 354 likes
More quotes…