It took a while for this story to capture my interest but eventually it did and I enjoyed the unique plot. The story follows generations of a family at different time periods. A few bars of music cue the reader to a time period change so it doesn't get confusing. A mystery is central to the story and is revealed toward the end. The narrator's natural mild Australian accent was very pleasant to listen to but when she tried to speak in other accents each word was enunciated separately which seemed odd to me. I'm glad I listened to the book and would recommend it.
The Forgotten Garden is a multi-generational mystery that takes place on two continents (three, if we count a brief sojourn in America) over more than 100 years, from Victoria's England to 21st century Australia. The mystery begins when Cassandra's grandmother and antique shop partner, Nell, passes away and leaves her the deed to a cottage in Cornwall. When and why had her grandmother gone to England. and why had she purchased a house there, only to return to Australia? The answer: to find out who she was. And now Cassandra embarks on the same journey.
Morton unpeels the layers of the story through alternating chapters set in alternating times that focus on Nell, Cassandra, young aristocrat Rose Mountrechet, and Eliza Makepeace, known as "The Authoress." It's an interesting structure, and Morton is a very competent writer. As a mystery (which I don't usually read), it kept me engaged, and although I figured out what was going on about halfway through, there were enough missing details to make it worth finishing the book.
Yes, I would listen to this book again. The story is complex, mysterious, and enjoyable.
The Secret Garden
Caroline Lee brought a lifelike emotion that I would not have experienced just reading the book.
No, I did not have an extreme reaction to this book.
A very moving story which is well performed.. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Would recommend it .
Too many characters, too many storylines, too long. It got a bit boring in parts but was fascinating in other parts.
She is brilliant! Faultless. Amazing.
No, quite long enough, thank you!
This is not a book I would normally read but I am glad I went out on a limb. It is a very good listen although the narrator did not create different character voices, it was still a good listen.
This was my first Kate Morton and I would listen to another. Good character development and interesting story with many twists and turns. Great book to escape to another time and place.
What could easily be a recipe for confusion--a storyline that spans a century with chapters that jump back and forth decades at a time, interspersed with the timelessness of fairy tales woven throughout--results instead in a remarkable blending of the lives of multiple families across four generations to tell a story of love, treachery, an ultimately a celebration of the will to survive. Every main character is portrayed with multiple levels, being slowly fleshed out as the story discloses the reasons behind their actions. (That said, I felt the relationship between Rose and Eliza was never drawn clearly enough to justify the decisions they both made.)
The narrator was outstanding--sensitive, clear, carrying off an assortment of accents with great competency. I will search her out for other readings. And the scope of the story, as grand as it was, encompassing a century and half the globe, was pared down to the essentials enough so that the reader has a good sense of the various eras. A part of me feels that perhaps the story could be told with fewer words, but it would be hard to sacrifice some of the lush descriptions and lovely language.