Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.
But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace Rutherford - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early 20th century - as well as a cliff-top cottage on the other side of the world, Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell, on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.
©2008 Kate Morton; (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing
"This debut page-turner...recounts the crumbling of a prominent British family as seen through the eyes of one of its servants....Morton triumphs with a riveting plot, a touching but tense love story and a haunting ending." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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.
I just loved this book! It was a bit hard at first to keep the characters straight until I realized the dates stated at the beginning of a change helped keep it straight. Otherwise, a great story and great narrator. I wish Audible had more than 2 of her books available. My new favorite.
SET REVIEWS TO BE SORTED BY 'MOST RECENT' INSTEAD OF 'MOST HELPFUL'!
Alas, probably not, because i ended up feeling annoyed, tossing the book aside and complaining to my husband that i had just spent over a dozen hours listening to and reading what amounted to sentimental tripe!
The modern day scenes interspersed with scenes of past
Caroline Lee, as another reviewer put it, could make the phone book sound riveting!
Plant a garden, write and illustrate a book of fairy tales, perhaps?
Too convoluted, ultimately predictable, too sentimental, too sad, and too fairytalish! Also kind of ghoulish, and i have to admit, haunting.
I am in my late twenties, a commuter, a romantic, & am loving life.
This book hooked my attention, and I found that I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters... loved seeing the events through several viewpoints. By the time I finished, I felt inspired to create a walled garden and to research my family history.
I found it very heartwarming that certain personality traits were passed from great grandmother to grandmother to mother to daughter.... I was almost envious of the main character.. wanting a family mystery of my own to solve! Such a great read.
Caroline Lee has a beautiful and soothing voice - and such a great accent! She's the first narrator that's ever truly stood out to me.
This book has a magical realism feel to it, it may be because of the fairytales being told throughout but I really enjoyed this beautiful story. It is a hard book to classify so I’m not going to pigeon hole it anywhere. I enjoyed the 3 different generations of women in this story and how their stories intertwined. This book is about family secrets and of how that affects generations. It spans from England to Australia in the early 1900 to the 2000’s. With each generation of women finding something about the past while at the same time finding something about themselves in the process.
I did enjoy this book very much however towards the end though you just want to scream at Cassandra and say hello I figured it out why can’t you! This book can be very sad at times and some may find the jumping around in time not to their liking. But I like books that show different time periods so I enjoyed that part. The prologue has a definite magical realism feel. I will definitely be reading more by this author!
The fairytales are a great and I wish there was an actual book of these fairytales!
I listened to this on audio narrated by Caroline Lee who does a fantastic job with all the accents from English, Australian & American.
Couldn't turn this audio book off .Can't stop and start with this one though, as it does take place during three different time periods and can be confusing. If you liked "Rebecca", or "The 13th Tale", you'll enjoy this one of Kate Mortons.
I didn't want this book to end. The story is a story in a story, in a story, in a story, all of them EXCELLENT! I even loved the couple of short fairytales. I found myself walking around my office with my iPod because I had to know what would happen next! The plot is intricate, but not difficult to follow as the author is very thorough. I can hardly wait until the 1st to download this authors first book, The Shifting Fog. I was pleasantly surprised when I went on line and read the authors bio. She is a very young woman. The narrator was excellent also, sometimes I could not understand why she gave a particular character the voice she did, then as the story developed I understood. Bravo Audible!
"Worth a Listen"
Although this was an odd book, I enjoyed listening to it. Padded out somewhat, with a slow and sometimes ponderous delivery, the main drawback was the reader's inability to 'do' a Cornish accent, substituting instead something akin to an Irish one - and the 'Dick Van Dyke' style of cockney accent was laughable!
In recounting this unlikely, but intriguing, tale the author spans three time periods without difficulty and the tale hangs together well. If the author intended a cliff-hanger, I doubt she has achieved it, as it was easy to guess the plot from the outset.
Overall though, a good 'read'.
"A good tale"
I enjoyed listening to this story. The clever way the plot revolves around three stories keeps you wanting to listen, especially when you get left with a cliffhanger and then move backward or forward in time. The only downside was the accents - the English ones rather moved back and forth across the country and got a bit Irish at times - but the story was enough to compensate
I have enjoyed greatly listening to this book. It is an intriguing plot(not at all boring)and very moving at the same time. The characters are very well developed. The book was very clearly read, in an engaging style (despite other comments I have read regarding the different accents of the narrator) and easy to understand. I would strongly recommended to anyone. I will miss it now that I have finished...
"The Forgotten Garden"
I loved this book this made the washing up a pleasure I really felt asif i was listening to friends ,please,if you are looking for a good book listen to this one you will be entertained for hours and will feel sorry when it is finished.
I loved this book. Although I agree with previous reviewer re-accents (diabolical cornish accent), and it became quite obvious early on how events would probably turn out.That said however, the author draws you in slowly but surely and suddenly 2 hrs have passed by! All in all a really enjoyable way to escape for a while.
"Great story beautifully told"
This would rate as one of the best audiobooks I have listened to so far. It's the longest but totally engrossing.
I love the way Kate Moreton writes. She delivers the story in delicate little bits so that you can't tear yourself away. Her characters are rich and her descriptions vivid.
I've listened to other books read by Caroline Lee that were quite a different style. Caroline adapts so well to the mood of the book and does a brilliant job capturing the characters' personality in their voices.
"Great story marred by sloppy editing"
This had all the ingredients for the sort of story I really enjoy: a creepy old house in Cornwall; an abducted child; a secret garden; a century-old mystery.....yes, it was a great plot, with lots of twists and turns (and contrary to some reviewers, I didn't guess the ending near the beginning!). However, it was v-e-r-y- l-o-n-g w-i-n-d-e-d and could have done with some serious editing. There was far too much inconsequential dialogue that didn't move the story on at all, and rather too many descriptions of people making and drinking cups of tea. Dramatic incidents, such as the accident that befell Sammy, were flagged up at least five minutes in advance, so when whatever it was actually happened, I felt a sense of anticlimax.
I lost count of the number of times characters inhaled, exhaled, and pressed their lips together. This sort of lazy repetition really annoys me. Could Kate Morton not be bothered to think up other ways to let characters express emotions? What are editors for? Did they not notice?
The other thing that really got on my nerves was the reader's appalling attempts at a Cornish accent - as another reviewer has commented, it sounded more like Oirish. If only the producer had had the courage to say: 'look, love, your English regional accents are rubbish - just read it straight, OK?' - it would have been so much better.
Fantastic - was lost for hours listening to this. Loved the twisting and turning in different directions with delightful discriptions and stories.
"couldn't stop listening"
I tried to read a story by this author a while ago on a recommendation from a friend. I struggled with the dramatic descriptions of everything and gave up after only a few pages. The genre is my thing 'though' so I thought to give her another go. This time the descriptions came to life and I could imagine the places in the story. couldn't stop listening! Only irritant was a sloooooow Cornish accents. made those characters seem a daft when they obviously weren't.
"Brilliant story, shame about the narrator"
As many others have commented on the work of Caroline Lee, I cannot understand why someone who gives such a sub-standard performance continues to be chosen for some excellent books. A real let down when Kate Morton's work is excellent, gripping and so well written.
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