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The Forgotten Garden

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  208,086 ratings  ·  19,180 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, 552 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Washington Square Press (first published June 1st 2008)
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Jeanne Grunert She's taken a creative spin at The Secret Garden, bringing in Frances Hodgson Burnett as a character in the book. The fictional implication is that th…moreShe's taken a creative spin at The Secret Garden, bringing in Frances Hodgson Burnett as a character in the book. The fictional implication is that the walled garden in this book influenced THAT book. She didn't plagiarize anything (steal anything) - it's a reference, but it worked for me.(less)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  208,086 ratings  ·  19,180 reviews

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Kat Kennedy
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Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf 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
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the midst of chaos and mayhem there are always books and reading and for that I am eternally grateful.

I needed to escape this week and Kate Morton’s The Forgotten GardenThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton was just what the Doctor ordered.

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery.
A book to get lost in with lots of suspense and intrigue. It was set in several timeframes including the 1890s, early 1900s, 1975 and 2005 which could have been confusing
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
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this was such a delight to read! I didn't think a story about a family mystery could be so entertaining throughout, while still staying realistic and not going too over the top.
Kate Morton just has the absolute best writing style for stories of this kind. She has a way of completely trapping you in the story she's telling, so that you lose yourself in it and just can't find a way out. And that's something highly positive! This is only the second book of hers I've read, but I'm already certai
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
Apr 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
The Forgotten Garden is a multi-generational mystery that reveals itself bit by haunting bit, featuring three women:

- Eliza, born in the late 1800s, who is born into poverty in London. Eliza's mother was a young woman who had run away from her upper crust home, for reasons that become clear later in the story, but she 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
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.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden is a 2008 novel written by Australian author Kate Morton, driven by the mystery of why a 4-year-old child is found abandoned on an Australian wharf in 1913.

At Nell's joyous 21st birthday party her world falls apart when her father tells her she was adopted as a 4-year-old in 1913, seemingly abandoned on an Australian wharf and unable to remember her name.

The knowledge shatters her self-image and changes the course of her life. In 1975, the
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!

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
Review summed up in 2 words: OVERBLOWN and UNDERWHELMING A perfect example of FAKE DRAMA.


To be fair, this is actually a beautifully written book and its voice is quite seductive, however, the incongruence of voice and story very soon becomes apparent and grating.

I know I was supposed to think that it was the clutches of cruel, inexorable FATE the characters were wriggling in without the hope of escape, instead of their own infinite STUPIDITY, which was so excruciating that I just wanted to bang
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
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
This has a similar feel to it as the Lake House, but I like this ending better. It wasn't so convenient, if you get my drift. She can really keep you guessing. I thought I had it all figured out, then it shifts. It was very enjoyable to read. ...more
Helene Jeppesen
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
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
This was a spectacularly written novel that transports you back and forth through time as you unravel a deep mystery with more questions than answers. The setting was beautiful and vivid and probably my favorite thing about the book. The times and characters got a little heavy at times, and I occasionally found myself having trouble remembering who was who, but it all came together in the end. I love the inclusion of the fairy tales, it really put you into the story and made you feel like part o ...more
This book, is my second Kate Morton novel, and I'm glad to say, that she has not left me disappointed. In fact, I ordered another of her novels online, immediately after finishing this one. Anyone that knows me well enough will know that I love mooching around beautiful stately homes and gardens which have a gothic appeal to them. That is also a reason I am a dedicated member of the National Trust. I can spend many, many happy hours at their sites just exploring the wonderful gardens and homes t ...more
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
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
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
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh for goodness sake.

I know I'm going against the grain here, as a lot of people rated this book so highly, but surely I can't be the only one so disappointed in it?

I usually love Kate Morton's books but this one just dragged and dragged whilst rehashing the same story. At first I thought it may be because I was listening to the audible version, but then remembered that I'd listened to 'The Distant Hours' too and had really enjoyed it.

The story hinted at deep, dark secrets, but there weren't rea
Elyse  Walters
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
"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
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these kind of stories. This is a wonderful tale, intricately woven through generations of different voices. I love the way the saga gently unfolds revealing bits and pieces at a time.

5 star -- a must read
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KATE MORTON grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and now lives with her family in London and Australia. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, and harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she realised that it was words she loved more than performing. Kate still feels a pang of longing each time she goes to the theatre and the house lights dim.


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