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on September 11, 2015
I have just finished this book and I had to write my review immediately. It took me a while to read it certainly not because the book was boring but because of time constraints on my part. I am a hard reviewer simply because most of the books I read are just "ok". This surpasses "ok" this book is amazing. Kate Morton is brilliant and I don't mean brilliant in the way the British use the word, I mean incredibly clever to have put this story together. Reading it is like doing a jigsaw puzzle and you wonder sometimes if it will ever come together. But it does. It combines excellent writing and character adaptation with a great story mixed with some mystical fairy tales. I loved the book. I loved the characters. Everything works. The only criticism I would have is the flipping back and forth from the early 1900's to the 1970's to 2005. This only becomes a bit frustrating if you can't sit down and read the book within a reasonable time frame. Unfortunately I had to keep going back to see who was who and what year we were reading about. This isn't the authors fault, it was mine. I would say if you are going to read it make sure you have the time to read it within a week or so. Reading it I wondered why the author hadn't put a family tree at the beginning but then I realized if she had done that, it would have given away a lot of the plotline. It is one of the very best books I have read in a long time. I have read all Kate Morton's books and to me this is by far the very best. I am so looking forward to her next book. Kudos to Kate Morton!!!
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on April 26, 2009
I have read literally thousands of books during my lifetime; some forgotten as soon as the pages have been read. However, "The Forgotten Garden" will remain with me for the rest of my days. In 1913, a young girl is abandoned on a ship from England to Austraila, and what follows through the pages is a journey back and forth through time in search of her true identity.

The author, Kate Morton weaves a story so profound and magical, the reader will be be captivated by its intrigue from beginning to end. The story holds mystique, fantasy, realism and leaves the reader never wanting the story to end. The characters and plot are stong and well developed, grabbing the reader with such intensity one feels a part of the journey. It is a lengthy book, but one filled with every emotion possible, sadness, joy, antiipation, revenge, jealousy, longing and love.

This is truly an enchanting book, an absolute masterpiece and one you will definitely not want to miss.
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on October 27, 2015
Lush, complex, beautiful and touching …
This is one of the good books I have read recently. I must say that the plot definitely makes an impact and leaves the reader with a sensation of a total completeness. It is a very interesting book with twists and mysteries. Three generations’ destinies are intertwined in one great story.
Kate Morton is a great storyteller. I liked her style of writing, its richness, complexity and beauty.
Eliza, Nell/Ivory and Cassandra are very vivid, powerful characters and the reader can identify with each one of them.
I honestly didn’t want the story to end. Every page was a pleasure.
When a book is as good as this, one can only be grateful for the opportunity to have such a piece of art.
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on January 2, 2016
I couldn't help but keep thinking how fitting the reoccurring theme of fairytales was. Of course, one of the main characters writes fairytales but this entire book is like an adult fairytale, with all the magic a kid experiences at Disneyland.

Not only is this a fairytale within a fairytale but its also several stories within one magical one. At the turn of the twentieth century, a three year old girl is abandoned on a ship from England to Australia. She lives a happy life but one, which she eventually learns, has sheltered dark secrets. In present day Australia, there is a link between grandmother and granddaughter that isn't severed, even after a long and prosperous life from which the grandmother eventually succumbs. And she had her own secrets too- the same secrets that bring her granddaughter across the ocean and into a magical world that caused many to flee and since has fallen into dilapidation. Inside this new world, the granddaughter is soon the darkest secrets that even her grandmother never managed to uncover.

This story flows, literally from beginning to end and there is drama lurking at the turn of each page. The characters are strongly developed and so are there relationships to one another. Yet the story is written in such a magical way that as you read it, you feel like you are meeting them and you get a chance to judge there actions too! Its almost like being a fly on the wall in a five star soap opera; this book is impossible to put down and he characters stay with you. Its a must read
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on November 21, 2012
The Forgotten Garden by K. Morton has a nice language and unusual beautiful mataphors. But, otherwise, the authoress couldn't decide whether she wanted to write a suspense novel, or fairy tale. The unexpected, cruel end points to the former, but otherwise the rest of the book is a fairy tale. The characters are either good, or bad, the coincidences plentiful and predictable, the main plot repeated with small alterations, and it has a happy end.
Perhaps, some people would like the book for entertainment, but it teaches you nothing and one cannot give it to a child, because of the suspense.
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on April 6, 2015
Excellent story!! This is the first of this author's books I had the pleasure of reading.
I just couldn't put it down! I spent a few sleepless nights totally engrossed in this fascinating story.
I then went on to read a couple more of Kate Morton's books but this one is the best and my favourite...so far...as she keeps writing more.
Highly recommend!
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on December 22, 2011
A little girl arrives in Australia, having been a stowaway on an English ship. She can't remember her name or her past. A dock worker and his wife take her under their wing and call her Nellie (Nell). She grows up as their daughter and later marries and has a daughter, Lesley, who in turn has a daughter Cassandra. This novel is about how Nell, and her granddaughter Cassandra, go in search of their heritage. Their main link to that past is a book of children's fairy tales which Nell had in her suitcase from England. As it turns out that book's author, and the illustrator, both had connections with the estate of Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast of England.

As Morton did with her "The House at Riverton", she wrote this novel featuring three time periods whose narratives shift from one period to the other--first, to build a case for the mystery of Nell's origin and later to provide timely clues to build the mystery towards its conclusion. Kate Morton could in time be worthy to be thought of as the Daphne du Maurier of our time. Her writing is enchantingly descriptive, at times eerie. She knows how to spin a pensively perplex web which holds the reader's attention. It is moodily atmospheric. This book is laden with lonely depression. The characters have few moments of joy. The length of the book serves to provide space for every detail but some might say it is unnecessarily drawn out. To be fair, I found its length tolerable, but reading the last hundred pages I wished it would soon end because I had already surmised its conclusion. So, in that respect it did not provide an ultimate suspenseful ending.
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on October 15, 2013
Never disappointed with anything Kate Morton writes. I find her style of story telling, weaving the past, present and in between so unique and extremely well done. This story is all about finding out where the present day character comes from, and in so doing we learn more of life in the Victorian period and the extremes women would go to for appearances and the little value placed on children who were poor.
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on March 5, 2016
<b>Kate Morton</b> is inventive. She excels at painting a completely original family portrait with an intricate history and trail of details that connect beautifully. This author’s endings are rewardingly happy and her mysteries always make me keen to explore where they lead! I do brace myself to get going because <b>Kate’s</b> books are hefty 500-page sagas, with a tendency towards essay-intensive acquaintance and flowery, incidental descriptions. I feel detailing could stick to scenes that pertinently propel the mystery forward and that we never need to acquaint any character to the degree her many scenes portray.

I do believe trimming unnecessary adjectives like “gentle” (how else is water going to “lap”?) and characters “running a hand over something lightly” (we didn’t presume they were smashing or gouging!) would bring all of her novels down by 100 pages. Self-explanatory words and superfluity of perspectives, is why I allot four stars. Shifting characters worked, an approach I’m glad <b>Kate</b> used. Sitting through my least favourite timeline, 1900 to 1913, would have me impatient to come abreast of Nell in 1975 and Cassandra in 2005. It becomes clear why we included Eliza and Rose too. However I didn’t need the other viewpoints. The eyes of the three or four protagonists would suffice and enthral me sooner.

Except my disbelief that Eliza could forget her belongings in the first place, I loved the conclusion. Children should grow up knowing they are adopted so it is part of who they are; never news that shatters it! Nell’s Australian parents dealt poorly with the situation, as she did at first. Rose and her parents would have fared alright if they had extracted happiness from what they had. Cassandra, Eliza, Mary, Clara, Christian, Ruby and all of the external characters had admirable attitudes; memorable players on this stage.
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on June 22, 2015
Kate Morton is such a fantastic story teller and provides the reader with so many wonderful twists and turns, most of which are unexpected!!
I loved "The Secret Keeper" and this one is just as good, a great summer read!!
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