Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Nell's life has been a complete lie until now and she has no idea who she is.  On what she thinks is her 21st birthday, her father, the man who Nell thought was her father, told her the truth about her life.  He told Nell that she arrived in Australia, abandoned on a ship with a little suitcase that contained a dress and a beautifully illustrated book of fairy tales. He estimates that she was about four years old, in the year 1913.  

Telling no one about the family secret, Nell continues to live her life focused on the past and sets off on a quest to find out who she truly is.  Unfortunately, she doesn't find the answers to her life's questions but what she does find is a cottage in England with a forgotten garden on the Cornish coast.

Nell passes away in 2005 and her granddaughter Cassandra inherits her assets, including a cottage in England and a family secret she knows nothing about.  Cassandra's destiny is to search for her grandmother's history, put together the puzzle pieces of the past and unlock the family secrets.

The Forgotten Garden is a sweeping mystery with a fairy tale backdrop.  The book travels between two continents and through many generations of woman in the same family.  It is beautifully told and imaginative as the stories intertwine and unravel the past.  The Forgotten Garden is an ode to fairy tales.  The book contains a wicked woman (lets just call her a witch), a beautiful princess, secrets, foggy nights, murder, crazy carriage rides, a mysterious man, a ghost ship, pirates, a maze, a locked garden hidden behind a door and so much more. The Forgotten Garden is a place to lose yourself, smell the roses and try to solve life's mysteries.

Kate Morton wove a mysterious tale that will make readers beg for more.  Morton is able to lead the reader where she wants and thus remains an author in control of her story. I was able to figure out the mystery in The Forgotten Garden early on but Morton successfully led me off track.  Morton neatly ties up all the loose ends in the story and as you sit back and digest the book you realize, everything is connected. 

The Forgotten Garden is a perfect summer book, it has the power to take you to interesting places in your imagination.   What is your perfect summer book?