Sara 's Reviews > The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
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's review
Apr 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, gothic, british-influence
Read in June, 2009

This is a good and fascinating book but it just isn't fast-paced. It's rather like "The Luncheon of the Boating Party" by Susan Vreeland in that regard. I enjoy the book, but slowly.

In this story, a woman named Cassandra(probably in her 30s) is living in Australia in 2005 when, at her beloved grandmother's funeral, she learns that her grandmother held an important family secret for many years. Her grandmother, Nell, is adopted, and from there the story spirals out into several narratives.

The reader slowly learns the stories behind several interconnected women, who live in different periods from Victorian times to the present day and who live in both Australia and Cornwall. I am entranced by Cornwall, so that was part of my motivation for reading the book.

I won't give away the plot because it's fun to keep guessing as hints unfold throughout the story, but I'll jot down a few central ideas. Some things that are involved: fairy tales, a mysterious garden, a hedge maze, a mourning brooch, several overseas journeys, thwarted desires, family secrets, twins, and the importance of the past in the healing process.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, you will probably enjoy the book (assuming you don't care about fast pacing, that is). It is well-written and moving--I feel like the characters and images will probably stay with me.

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