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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned storytelling
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...
Published on 7 Oct 2008 by Laura D

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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
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...
Published on 2 Jan 2009 by Myrtle


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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned storytelling, 7 Oct 2008
This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
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
By 
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
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
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Free Spirit "shilo115" (North Wales, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Mystery., 26 Sep 2008
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful summer read..., 10 July 2008
By 
H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
...that will be enjoyed whatever the season. The forgotten garden isn't a literary masterpiece but it is a work of good quality fiction with a multi-layered story that works really well. What is more, it is a long read, and all of the pages deserve to be there as they really bring something to the plot. It is the story of Nell, an old woman when the book begins, who found herself alone in the world on disembarking in Australia, aged 4 in 1913. The woman who should have travelled with her, vanished after telling her that she had to hide as well as she could.As a grown woman Nell , and later her grand daughter Cassandra ,will try to solve the puzzle of Nell's lineage. The story takes us from 1913 to 1970 and to now and back to 1900 but it is never confusing as it has been cleverly crafted. Although some of the secrets and mysteries are easy to guess at, there is always so much to learn and the writing is so effortlessly fluent that the reader just glides with the flow, eager to learn more and to reach the end.I do not hesitate to recommend it as I am sure people who haven't read it as yet are bound to like it.
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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 (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic!, 29 Aug 2008
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
I don't even know where to start in reviewing this book. I can't quite remember when a book drew me in and kept my attention for the duration of the novel like this one did. It was a long book but it was so engrossing I read it within a couple of days, I literally couldn't put it down. It was absolutely magical. Well done Kate Morton!

The story begins in 1913 with a very little girl who lands in Australia apparently without any history, even to the extent of not remembering her own name, only that a lady called 'the Authoress' is supposed to be looking after her and she has disappeared. She is taken in by the harbour master and his family and when no one comes forward to claim her they decide to keep her and call her Nell. Nell settles into the family so well that she forgets all about her previous life and is given a dreadful shock on her 21st birthday when her Father tells her the truth of how she was found. This bolt from the blue consequently changes the course of Nell's life and later she decides find out 'who she is'. Consequently her Granddaugher Cassandra takes up the search in 2005 after Nell's death and uncovers many secrets and stories some of which Nell had already come across on a secret visit to Cornwall in 1975. Ultimately this book is very much the story of several women, and everyone of them interesting, unique and anything but one-dimensional. There are also many other fully rounded characters on the side-lines of the story and you don't get the feeling that there's any padding involved to stretch out the story. Every chapter is not only essential but interesting and you feel like you're trying to put together a complex jig-saw puzzle along with our heroines. In a compliment to the author - I never once got confused with the story changing from person to person and different time-lines. It was very skillfully done.

I can't praise this book enough. I've never read The House at Riverton but will be taking it on holiday with me in a few weeks and I can't wait if it's anywhere near as good as this!
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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
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living the past., 27 Oct 2008
By 
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
This surpasses even House at Riverton. Morton seamlessly weaves an intricate story with skill, craftsmanship and detail of so many eras of British and Australian history, places and emotions. She must become one of our most cherished authors. Her prose is exquisite, her vocabulary sweeping, moving and inspiring. Not only does she have le mot juste, she owns it. I only hope we do not have to wait too long for her next work.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!, 12 Sep 2008
This review is from: The Forgotten Garden (Paperback)
I found this as engrossing as her debut which I read earlier this year. This time Kate Morton has written an intriguing mystery that started in the 1900's and is not fully unravelled until 2005. It is told as three stories covering three generations combining to give us clues along the way.
Maybe the ending was a little predictable but I certainly did not guess all the answers to the mysteries along the way.
The protagonist is Nell around who the whole mystery centres. The story starts in London when Nell as a little girl finds herself unexpectedly travelling by ship to Australia alone. The lady she calls the Authoress having mysteriously disappeared instead of looking after her as promised. Arriving in Australia as an orphan she is given a home by Hugh a dock worker who finds her alone on the dockside on her arrival in Maryborough. It is only on her 21st birthday she learns of her mysterious arrival in Australia, a secret that changes her life dramatically.
It is many years later in 1975 that she embarks upon a search for the truth about her birth and early years. Drawn to Cornwall by information she has discovered, she finds herself buying a cottage in the grounds of Blackhurst Manor once owned by the Mountrachet family. She plans to return to England to live in her new cottage after sorting out her affairs back in Australia. However life intervened and Nell never returned to Cornwall, the ownership of the cottage remaining her secret.
On her death in 2005 Nell leaves the cottage as a surprise inheritance to her granddaughter Cassandra. It is while visiting her inheritance that Cassandra finally uncovers the secrets surrounding the Mountrachet family Linus, his wife Adeline, their daughter Rose and cousin Eliza, daughter of Linus's sister Georgiana.
How are the family all involved in the disappearance of that little girl nearly a hundred years ago?
I am obviously not going to reveal this and spoil the mystery!

I think the author may be a fan of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett as not only does The Forgotten Garden remind me in some ways of this classic novel but its author makes an appearance in the story!
I read it far too quickly for a novel that is nearly 650 pages. Only took two days. Ok the weather was very hot and I did not feel like doing much else, but to be honest I could not put it down!!
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