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The Forgotten Garden [Paperback]

Kate Morton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (644 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 May 2008


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


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?


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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 645 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (29 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330449605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330449601
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (644 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.

Product Description


'A beautifully written and satisfying novel.' -- Daily Express

'A haunting story of the search for packed with memorable characters and evocative settings. ' -- Choice Magazine

'Chunky, well-written tale...' -- Dorset Echo

'The Forgotten Garden simmers with secrets and strangeness.' -- Good Housekeeping

'The Forgotten Garden weaves its powerful spell slowly and beautifully.' -- Waterstone's Books Quarterly

'The story is full of twists and turns that kept hold of me all the way through.'
-- Evening Gazette

'What a fantastic second novel this is. I would be surprised if it wasn't another award-winner.' -- South Wales Argus

`A fantastic second novel.' -- Cornwall Today

`Perfect for a long afternoon in a deck chair' -- Gloss Magazine

`great holiday unusual book but one that keeps the reader guessing until the truth is unravelled at the end.' -- Nuneaton Telegraph

About the Author

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and young son in Brisbane. The Forgotten Garden is her second novel.

You can find more information about Kate and her books at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned storytelling 7 Oct 2008
By Laura D
I must admit that I was attracted to this book as it mentioned Richard and Judy's Bookclub. Not that I read all they recommend but they are usually worth a look. Then I found out that it was the author's previous book that was referred to "The House at Riverton" so I read that first.

It was good, but for me this one is better. It is set in Australia and Cornwall in the past and present. It starts with a puzzle and a rather heart rending one at that. A four year old girl is left on a steamer heading to Australia in 1912, apparently abandoned and unnoticed by the authorities. Who would do such a thing, and why?

There follows a well written multi layered story that untangles the complexities of the girls life. We see Edwardian society from the viewpoint of the rich and the poor. In the present day we see the girls granddaughter coming to terms with her true heritage. A fine mystery that keeps you guessing.

It is a wonderful adventure, reminding me of Daphne du Maurier and even the Famous Five, but in spirit only.

Thoroughly recommended.
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319 of 334 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting tale of deceit 31 July 2008
I loved the House at Riverton, so I couldn't wait to read the Forgotten Garden. It was so worth the wait!! It is a powerful, moving story of lies, love, searching, and finally, knowledge. It tells of a poor little rich girl and her ambitious, devious mother who only wants the very best for her daughter. Whatever Rose wants, Rose gets. Nothing is allowed to get in the way, and when Eliza comes into the picture, she and Rose develope a powerful bond. There is mystery galore in this novel, going back through generations of the Mountrachet family. What happened to the beautiful Georgiana? Why? There are many questions to be answered, and the story eventually unravels the mystery. We travel from Australia to Cornwall, firstly with Nell, who has to search out her origins, and later, with Cassandra, Nell's granddaughter, who hopes to find the answers to so many questions that have haunted Nell throughout her life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it whole-heartedly.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read and wonderful story 21 Aug 2008
By Free Spirit VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was a little daunted by the size of the book, I didn't think I would manage to get through it. However, the story was so compelling and wonderfully written, I needn't have worried. I devoured this book.

I never lost interest in the plot, I never felt bored or wished myself onto the next chapter, every page was exciting it was pure sheer escapism.

I loved this book and will be buying more from this author. I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this!
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134 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than her debut... 16 July 2008
By LittleReader VINE VOICE
I really enjoyed KM's debut novel and in my opinion, 'The Forgotten Garden' surpasses all expectations in terms of richness of plot, depth and magical prose.
Gripped from the beginning, I found this novel absolutely unputdownable. Spanning three generations and almost a Century we are thrown backwards and forwards in time as the great mystery of Nells' abandonment on an Australian Port, aged 4, is uncovered. From the wilds of Cornwall to the suburbs of Brisbane and narrated by Eliza, Nell and Cassandra, it is an immense project and you cannot fail to be impressed by the writing skill of KM.
Like all great novels, every now and again there's a blip and in this instance I found that a large part of the mystery being uncovered in a long lost letter slightly disappointing. However I found the inclusion of Eliza's fairytales enchanting and wholly original - a very clever idea to help the story flow to it's conclusion.
Wonderful storytelling, I cannot wait for her next...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Mystery. 26 Sep 2008
I found this to be a highly readable book. Kate Morton writes in such a way that it is easy to stay connected to the book. Many books tend to make me drift but this one kept me with it.
My only difficulty was the change of time within the book. Every chapter is either in the present or the past of either Nell, the main character, Eliza, the authoress, or Nell's daughter who discovers the truth behind the mystery of Nell's childhood in Cornwall. But, I became used to this format and in the end I felt it had actually been a good way to write it as it added to the mystery.
I generally find it difficult to read books if they are written to a formula but this one didn't feel like that. Her writing style also is lovely to read, nearly poetic but not overdone. I loved too the way the story interweaved with the Authoress's fairy tales. Clues all!
All in all I would highly recommend it. In fact, on the strength of it, I might just read her previous one too!
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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light entertainment for a cold winter's day 2 Jan 2009
By Myrtle
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First, let me say this - I'm not normally a fan of 'famliy' saga type novels, and the only reason I purchsed this book was that (a) it was in the sale and (b) I fancied trying something different from my usual list of 'reads'. Secondly, having now read the book over the Christmas break it is fairly clear this book probably isn't going to change your life. However, I wasn't disappointed by the book.

It's a bit on the predictable side, and split between three main characters but it leads you gently by the hand through their different lives. It is paced well and has enough in each chapter to keep you wanting to read the next and the story is as charming as the picture on the front cover. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to someone looking for a deep and meaningful read but if you fancy a bit of light holiday reading, which isn't too mindless, then I would certainly suggest trying it. It's the sort of book I'd lend to my Mum and I would certainly keep an eye out for toerh Kate Morton books in the sales.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
Really enjoyed this book.
Published 1 day ago by mrs fa h selway
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend to anyone as could not put the book
A lovely read. Would recommend to anyone as could not put the book down
Published 1 day ago by Mrs C Day
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
too many characters for easy reading
Published 3 days ago by jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 6 days ago by Eileen Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably read it again -'a rare ...
This is one of those stories that you want to go on and on. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably read it again -'a rare thing for me. Highly recommended,
Published 6 days ago by Mrs. J. A. Glover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great by Kate Morton
Published 8 days ago by KatKat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful, couldn't put it down.
Published 8 days ago by Ezzy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Book
Totally absorbing. Historically interesting. A real page turner driving you on to find out what happens next. Full of atmosphere.
Published 10 days ago by Susie Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Another masterpiece by Kate Morton. Could not put it down. Fantastic story of love and fate. Beautifully written. Highly recommended.
Published 12 days ago by FT
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read.
Intricate story written between three female related characters. It switches quickly between each characters part of the story to keep the plot going. Read more
Published 12 days ago by sue
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