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.
I really enjoyed this story. The narrator was fantastic and the story was great. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen but at the same time, I hated for it to end! I will be checking out the rest of Kate Morton's books - hope they're all as good as this one!!
I usually never re listen. I would know what will happen.
Nell. I admired her strength and yet her ability to do what was right especially with her granddaughter, Cassandra.
Her voice was very pleasant to listen too. and the sudle differences for the female voices was perfect.
I can't think of a more fitting title.
I thought this was going to be a sweet story about someone finding out who she was and understanding herself better. I enjoyed most of the story until a character makes a request of her cousin that goes beyond loyalty and friendship. I felt like I was listening to a soap opera- which is not in my taste. If I would have known this, I would not have bought or listened to the book. However, I did enjoy the reader. She made me forget I was listening to a story. It seemed real.
I enjoyed this one. I liked the span across generations, and the story unraveled in a way that kept it interesting.