Gina's Reviews > The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
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's review
May 25, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: 2010, abandoned

I added this book to my reading pile based on all the really good reviews. I'd also just re-read The Secret Garden, which this book apparently alludes to a bit and I was hoping for another Thirteenth Tale/Jane Eyre situation. No such luck.

I really enjoy experiencing the ways that different authors use language and I'm always amazed at what a really good writer can do with handful of carefully chosen words. It's one of the reasons I love to read, so when I come across clunky writing it's really distracting. This was one of those cases. The writing isn't bad, exactly, but I had so many cringe moments in the first fifty or sixty pages that I was spending more time wishing for a red pen than thinking about the story itself. A couple of times I thought this might be a young adult novel (not that that would be an excuse for poor writing), but then I'd come across a word like "insouciance". I ditch a fair number of books--sometimes with relish, sometimes just with relief. In this case I was mostly relieved. I was eating lunch and suddenly remembered that I had a magazine in my purse I could look at instead.

The characters (based on my sixty pages, which I think should be enough time for some development) were a little flat and dull. I have no problem with unlikeable characters, but I do have a problem when I can't muster up any sort of feeling toward them. The dialogue between the main character (whose name I have already forgotten) and her grandmother Nell was so corny that it was painful to read.

I don't think this a terrible book. Clearly lots of people love it, but it was definitely not my thing.

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