Monday, January 6, 2014

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

Title: The Forgotten Garden
Author: Kate Morton
Paperback: 645 pages
Published date: 2008
Publisher: Pan Books
FTC: Bought at library book sale

Whenever I get into a reading slump I know that a Kate Morton book will get me back on track. It's amazing how her books just suck me into the story and I can speed through these little chunksters.  My only problem is now I've read them all (this is my second favorite - first being her newest The Secret Keeper).  I'm going to have to go back and re-read my first Morton book The House at Riverton.

Back of the book:

1913 - On the eve of the First World War a little girl is abandoned after a grueling ocean voyage from England to Australia. All she can remember of the journey is that a mysterious women she calls the Authoress had promised to look after her. But the Authoress has vanished without trace.

1975 - Now an old lady, Nell travels to England to discover the truth about her parentage. Her quest leads her to Cornwall, and to a beautiful estate called Blackhurst Manor, which had been owned by the Mountrachet family. What has prompted Nell's journey after all these years?

2005 - On Nell's death her granddaughter, Cassandra, comes into a surprise inheritance. Cliff Cottage, in the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, is notorious amongst the locals for the secrets it holds - secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is at Cliff Cottage, abandoned for years, and in its forgotten garden, that Cassandra will uncover the truth about the family and why the young Nell was abandoned all those decades before.

My thoughts:

For some reason I've been on a random kick lately reading books set in Cornwall.  It wasn't a conscious decision but it's been making me long to travel.  Morton always has a beautiful way of writing and developing the landscape and characters.  Her stories are always set in different time periods, chapters alternating in time adding pieces to a type of jigsaw mystery.  I love how she does it and how it all comes together at the end.  While I wasn't really surprised (guessed most of the mysteries before they were reviled) it was still a lovely ride.

I was reading Kate Morton's bio at the front of this book and noticed that she grew up in Australia.  Most of her books have taken place in the UK so it was pretty cool to have the Australia part in this one.  I'd love to see her write more about her native home.

Like her previous novels, it's not only the time period and location that sucks me in, but how she writes her characters.  This one was no exception.  It's amazing to see how secrets change lives.  I fell for the Authoress, Eliza, of this story.  If you have never read a Kate Morton book, try picking up The Forgotten Garden.  Beautiful.

Cover versions:

The above cover is the book I found at the local library book sale.  It's a UK version.  I also adore the US version cover.  Her books all have the same look and I would love to collect these ones:

While perusing Kate Morton's website, I also noticed there are new paperback versions with a different type of cover.  Not sure how I feel about these.  They feel too generic romancy.  What are your thoughts?

Check out my reviews for Kate Morton's other titles: The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper, The House at Riverton

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