Book Review: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton


"THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN" has all the right elements to be a good read  - a lost child, a devastating revelation, an unsuitable marriage, an old manor, a sinister uncle, a wicked aunt, a sick cousin, a poor orphan, an abandoned cottage, a walled garden. And it was. Once we got into the story proper -  what lead up to the events of 1913.

I did have difficulty with some aspects of the story:

I was angry at Nell's adopted father for revealing where Nell had come from at her party and thought this was very cruel, especially when his wife was against it. He caused Nell's estrangement from her family, an outcome he hadn't foreseen, as he was only interested in salving his guilty conscience. 

Nell's reaction of keeping "her family" at arms' length was understandable, but the  treatment of her daughter was not. In similar circumstances wouldn't you make an effort to ensure your child felt wanted?

I did not find Nell or Leslie endearing. Cassandra fared a little better. Too much time was spent developing their relationship at the start, but once we set off on the trail of Eliza Makepeace the story gained momentum.

Frances Hodgson Burnett's presence at  Rose's party distracted me as I began to make comparisons between "The Secret Garden" and "The Forgotten Garden". Totally different stories, I know, but it did have that effect.

Finally, why did Eliza and Nathaniel agree to the plan devised by Rose's mother so readily?   I think a little more inner turmoil would have been warranted. Sorry, you'll have to read the novel to find out what that plan was.

Despite these minor hurdles, I was eager to discover what had prevented "the Authoress" returning to the ship and did enjoy this story. I will certainly read more of Kate Morton's novels.

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