The Forgotten Garden
by Kate Morton
I am so glad that my aunt introduced me to this novel. It is a wonderful story filled with dark family secrets, hidden gardens, unscrupulous characters and mysterious events. Even though it is a very long novel, I loved every moment and found myself looking forward to continuing the story whenever I had the chance.
The story begins with the discovery of a young girl found all alone on the docks in Australia. No one claims her so she is taken in by a family and raised as one of their own. She does not discover the truth until she is twenty one and spends the rest of her life trying to discover who she really is. All she has to go by is a small white suitcase that she had with her on the boat.
The book jumps between time periods and characters, covering almost a hundred years from 1900- 2005. I thought it would be confusing and maybe even a little distracting but instead the author was able to weave together a beautiful tale of discovery. As each new secret is unearthed you get to relive the event, you get to see how Nell (the young girl) discovers the truth, and you get to see her granddaughter's discoveries. I loved the way that their stories intertwined and the end result was delightful.
I loved the Victorian feel to the story with the tales of smugglers, thieves and ghost. And one of my favorite things were the Fairytales found through out the story. I thought they were a wonderful addition and I loved seeing how they reflect the life of the authoress in the story.
The ending was breathtaking. Seriously, It brought tears to my eyes and then I immediately turned to the beginning and started reading parts again. I don't often want to reread a book, especially not right after I finish it, but I wanted to see if I recognize any of the characters in the beginning of the book that maybe I didn't recognize as being important before the mystery was solved. Of course I didn't re read the entire book, it is over 500 pages, but I am curious if I would pick out some clues along the way that I didn't catch before.
So if you are looking for a great Victorian mystery this is the book to pick up.
Wow, that ended up being a really long post. What can I say, I really enjoyed the book. :-)