This started out as one of those books that would put me to sleep. It seemed like nothing was ever going to happen. After starting and stopping a few times I went to read the reviews and see what folks had to say. What I found was that the book does, indeed, pick up at some point. So I decided to stick it out, and I'm glad I did! While the story's current time is 2005, the flashbacks to 1905-1913 and 1975 make you forget that these characters are are gone. The author does a great job at breathing life into them as their descendant in 2005 uncovers their story. Because these events have already happened, there is a pervasive sense of futility against a larger power, an inevitable sense of fate -- no matter how much it is struggled against. It's like watching a historically-based film where you forget how it ends because you've fallen in love with the characters. I especially liked how Fairy Tales were worked into the story and how they were developed by the Authoress and their relevance in her life. I didn't really understand or appreciate it until about half way through, but when I finally caught on... wow! Great! I also really enjoyed the way the storyline developed -- the interplay between past and present. Whenever you got an inkling for the truth, the timeline would shift and it would play out in front of you. Great story!! Definitely worth trudging through those first couple of hours! Thank you Kate!
I loved this book of four generations of women. It was so well written that it was difficult to believe that the characters - especially Elize Makepeace - were not real!
"The Forgotten Garden" is an extremely well written book. The narration by Caroline Lee is also very well done. Although her male interpretations are not the best, you can still get lost in her beautiful voice. The characters are well formed and the story, although long, keeps you engaged and wanting more. Beware though, because I had a very hard time putting my ipod away and getting anything else done:). I would highly recommend this audio book and it will go on my personal list of favorites.
I was impressed with "The Forgotten Garden", I felt it succeeded on many levels. Great writing, the author's voice is original. The characters were fully realized and distinct. Even the evil doers actions were explained. The setting, or rather "settings", were vivid, very well imagined. The Gothic backdrop revealed itself slowly, melding well with the modern story running concurrently. At times the tale got a little silly, but it should be forgiven because they are brief lapses, and maybe some people like their stories that way. The narration was fine, yes the English and American accents were butchered, but she kept the story lively and engaged fully in the telling.
Wonderfully captivating story line; pulled me in and wouldn't let me go! At first listen I was afraid that I might not be able to keep up with the story line as it bounced back and forth between different eras but that wasn't the case. The author stays in one timeframe long enough to allow the reader to get comfortable before switching. I found myself part of the mystery of the story; wanting to rush from chapter to chapter just to unravel the next clue! The narrator did a wonderful job distinguising the characters from one another without overdoing it. I will definitely look for additional works by both this author and the narrator.
Really enjoyed this book. Did not want it to end. Lots of turns and twists. I really enjoyed how the story was woven together with the different generations of women. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery and a little romance.
This is an engaging and quite well written book, tho in parts a bit sub-Dickens, with descriptions of "mudlarks" (scavengers from the river Thames)and other characters almost directly lifted from Dickens. Unfortunately the Australian reader has only two accents: Australian and Irish. So all regional English accents (eg Cornwall and Northern England which both have very distinctive accents), are rendered in a brogue: like portraying a southern belle with a Bronx accent. Apart from this annoyance, she reads well, however. If you don't know how the characters ought to sound, this might not bother you.
Do we really need all the music interludes between chapters!?! Distracting at best... Caroline Lee is a fine reader and her skills do not require artificial music breaks.
Albeit an enjoyable listen with a fine tip of the hat to The Secret Garden, the book dragged a bit at the end. The plot twists and mysteries were not so complex that the last 4 hours listening time could have been condensed into 2 hours.
Story line too slow for me, maybe later. Narration accent too hard to listen to when the story could not pull me in. Maybe I will try again later.