Fascinating, compelling, intriguing
Near the end when all the strands begin to come together
No, I wanted to stretch it out as long as possible.
Although the story moves back and forth through time, it was never confusing and it was fun putting the clues together as it went along. I don't listen to "romances" very often but the touch of fantasy mixed with mystery made it very enjoyable.
So many books, so little time
This may be an example of a book that is better experienced in print form. It would be easier to skip the overlong stories-within-stories. When yet another thread and character was introduced during yet another time, I threw in the towel.
Perhaps the narrator would be better served with some more interesting material. However, I found her mannerisms and affectations to be a turn-off after a while.
I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.
Good read with three coinciding story's of past, past, present. It could have been shorter and just as good. The narration was great.
Fascinating story line
I loved her voices for the various characters. Her accent was perfect for this audiobook.
I think it would have to be Cassandra. She allowed herself to finally come back from tragedy as she delved into the mystery of her grandmother's life. Wonderful ending.
This was a long audiobook but the more I listened, the more I became involved with the characters. I highly recommend this book.
I really liked this story, I liked all of the main characters. The 3 stories intertwined perfectly. Was so disappointed by her other book, The Secret Keeper. Scared to try another book by Kate Morton because of it.
What I love about Kate Morton books are that you go along within the story, enjoying it, but feeling as if you know what is coming. Then you get a big surprise!
It doesn't turn out how I thought it would (in a good way)
Her voice was not my favorite at first but then I found it perfect! She does different characters very well.
That is hard a one. The plot was artfully done and the characters were memorable. THe narration was excpetional!
You are what all voice over artists should strive for. Perfect pacing, beautiful voice, excellent accents. I was sorry the book ended partly because it was the end of her narration. I will be buying other books narrated by this artist.
There was no happy in this book. The story jumped around in time and from character to character - that style doesn't always work, especially if you are not fully immersed in the story. There were also side stories scattered among the time and character jumping. Every main character was unsatisfied with their situation in life - unhappy because they couldn't have what they wanted, unhappy because they had something they didn't want, or they couldn't move on from a loss, or were unable to control every situation. Unhappy because they made a great sacrifice for a selfish person and the selfish person resented them for the great gift. Many of the side characters were mean and greedy. The book was just an exercise in unhappy and/or unpleasant people. Shortly after I started listening, if someone had taken the book away from me, not finishing the book would not have bothered me in any way. Half way through the story I figured out the mystery, even though the writer kept pointing in a different direction. I didn't feel any satisfaction in the story. It was OK, but nothing great.
The Forgotten Garden filled my desires for an new audio book. I was seeking a good, easy, engrossing story, read superlatively, not too intellectual (but not dumbed down, poorly written or insipid, either). I found these elements in Caroline Lee's fabulous narration of Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden. I'm an author, a mom, wife, daughter of elder parent caregiver and I do a lot of outdoor physical work and exercise as well. I wanted a story to relax with -- to ooze into my ears as I sat with a cup of tea or lay down for a nap; or, if I awakened in the middle of the night, unable to turn off compulsive concerns and anxiety, a story to take my mind in a new, pleasant direction and help me get back to sleep. I wanted it to be a story I'd look forward to; a story without irritating quirks in narration so that I could have confidence in listening enjoyment. I wanted to be TOLD a nice story and that's exactly what Caroline Lee reading The Forgotten Garden delivered!
The music lead-ins were a nice touch and the consistent relating of date and place to open each chapter helped keep the multi-layered story lines straight -- important in such a tale spanning multiple generations and different locations.
A couple of detractions, in my opinion:
Other readers (and, perhaps listeners) have written reviews mentioning the lack of development of some characters, particularly of the male characters, in the story; I would agree; it was something that I noted to myself as the story unfolded. More character development in that regard would have added somewhat to the length of the story, but, since I thoroughly enjoyed it, that would have been no problem for me, at all -- I would have welcomed a few more pages/minutes and added richness/dimension of the tale.
Also, later in the book, there is dialogue written for the three-to-four years old little Nell, that I found years too mature and disingenuous -- even for a superlatively-bright and precocious tot, which Nell was never purported to be. Perhaps, however, without that stretch of years-too-much maturity in the story, Kate Morton would not have been able to have placed Nell on board that boat to Australia in the manner that she did. To me, that dynamic and story thread was weak.
Back to the good points:
Early on, I figured out the main mystery, but that didn't at all detract from the story -- or, from the satisfying unfolding of attendant mysteries and elements, right up to and through the last pages/minutes. I liked that there were sub-mysteries! I thought Kate Morton did a fantastic job of not being stingy with filling in all the blanks. She had created what I found to be a wonderfully told story and she brought all of the threads together, respectfully honoring the reader/listener and taking what I considered to be just the right amount of time to create a complete, satisfying ending. She wasn't rushed or lazy in the last chapters, at all. I was impressed with that and I found myself mentally thanking Kate Morton for having respected the reader enough to do this. I hope she feels satisfaction in having created this experience for her readers/listeners.
Perhaps, The Forgotten Garden would not be as pleasant a reading experience as it was an audio book, but as a curl-up-and-listen, anticipate-the-experience story told personally to me by a great story narrator, it was just right! I hope others find it so, as well. I gave The Forgotten Garden five stars overall. Though it wouldn't be considered great literature, it gave me exactly what I wanted, as I wanted it, with no irritating, deal-breaking detraction -- and I was sorry to have the story end. I can easily imagine myself listening to it again in the future, enjoying the tale twice told!
Yes. This was a great example of historical fiction and mystery. It keeps the readers interest the entire time and is very entertaining. The characters are well developed. I prefer The Secret Keeper, as it was more shocking in the end, but this one is very well written and interesting also.
She does a great job with different character voices and accents. She does not sound over the top and uses just the right amount of emotion to really entice the listener.
I highly recommend all of Kate Morton's books and all of Caroline Lee's recordings.