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The Forgotten Garden Audiobook

The Forgotten Garden

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Publisher's Summary

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, a maze, an aristocratic family, a love denied, a mystery - The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric, and a compulsive listen about the past, ghosts, family, and memories from best-selling author Kate Morton.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (9211 )
5 star
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Overall
4.4 (6741 )
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Story
4.6 (6697 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (72)
1 star
 (57)
Performance
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  •  
    Rathen Yonkers, NY, United States 03-03-10
    Rathen Yonkers, NY, United States 03-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
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    0
    0
    Overall
    "Worth listening to, but...."

    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.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. James-Long Portland, OR United States 01-09-11
    J. James-Long Portland, OR United States 01-09-11 Member Since 2006

    PortlandBookLover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    269
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Slow at first, but picks up after 3-4 hrs"

    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!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 11-03-08
    Lily St. Augustine, FL, USA 11-03-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    245
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    1
    Overall
    "Wish I could give 4.5 stars..."

    I bought this book because it was long, a bargain price, and had lots of good reviews. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I really like multi-generational stories, and this one had a lot of interesting facets. The characters were well-developed and likable. The narrator's voice was lovely and she did a great job distinguishing characters. Overall very worthwhile. As a young girl I loved "The Secret Garden"; this was sort of a Secret Garden for grown-ups.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara New Milford, CT, USA 10-16-08
    Barbara New Milford, CT, USA 10-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "I couldn't stop listening"

    I LOVED this audio book. The reading was first rate, and the story was captivating. It drew me in slowly but then took off to the point that I couldn't leave it even when I had other things to do!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Meadville, PA, USA 10-07-08
    Ryan Meadville, PA, USA 10-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    I loved this book. It was unexpectedly wonderful. One of those books that you mourn when it comes to the end.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Milwaukee, WI, United States 03-10-14
    Richard Milwaukee, WI, United States 03-10-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    114
    81
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Do we need the music?"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caryl SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States 12-21-09
    Caryl SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States 12-21-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    325
    41
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    0
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    Overall
    "Picked up because recommended"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shilo Davenport, WA, USA 12-19-09
    Shilo Davenport, WA, USA 12-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
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    Overall
    "Intriguing Story"

    Kate Morton is an amazing writer and the narrator makes her words sound like music. Beautiful, beautiful audio book!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sindi 11-09-08
    Sindi 11-09-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    249
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    7
    Overall
    "Loved It"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 03-14-16
    Ruth Bain 03-14-16

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1330
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    547
    540
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    65
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Over-long melodrama"

    Wonderful narration almost redeems this much-too-long melodrama. It wasn't too hard to figure out where the plot was going, so there were no surprises.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Hilary
    WORCESTER, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    I thought this book was beautifully written and well narrated. The story grips you from the beginning and you are led down a fair few trails before all the secrets are revealed. I really enjoyed it and will be looking for more from this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jill Walker
    East Yorkshire, England
    7/25/12
    Overall
    "A good listen."

    I enjoyed this book as I do tend to enjoy books spanning different times and places with narration from characters in each. Starting off with a little girl abandoned on a ship to Australia and then adopted by an Australian couple it is her mysterious life that we are on the trail of after her death at aged 90. The present day story is told through her grandaughter Cassandra who has inherited her grandmother's childhood suitcase and contents and also a cottage in England but the story does go back and forth in time as each character's tale is told. I was kept guessing until the last quarter or so of the book when it became a bit obvious and I found I was waiting for the main character of Cassandra to catch up!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    castleford, United Kingdom
    5/24/12
    Overall
    "easy listening"

    great story, nice narrator this book didnt seem to be as long as it actually was, very easy to listen to and enough twists that it wasnt too predictable, i will listen to her other books on the strengh of this experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lara
    Povoa de VarzimPortugal
    4/8/11
    Overall
    "It takes you to a wonderful place"

    I just finish listening to this book. For 5 days, I gave up my every free moment to listen to it. It got my attention in the first five minutes, and I am deeply sad it has ended already. It's a family story, told by three characters, in three diferent times. It has mistery, drama and just a little touch of romance (the correct amount, if you ask me). The narrative is fluid and the passages from one time to another easy to follow and well connected to each other. If you're a hopeless fan of images from the 1900's and family stories, this is the book for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lara
    Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom
    3/18/11
    Overall
    "The ending was very good"

    I loved the book. The story was very interesting and i never felt like i was bored.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen Martin
    7/7/10
    Overall
    "Time well spent"

    This is a cleverly woven story of three generations which avoids being cliched. The main characters, Cassandra, Nell and Eliza are convincingly portrayed and each evokes the time period in which she is set.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    One word of advice; the narrotor's tone and English/Australian accent needs some getting used to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Slowest Bookworm
    Stockport, UK
    5/22/09
    Overall
    "Great"

    One of the best books I have listened to in a long time! Great characters and a storyline that kept me listening well past my bedtime every night! I'll definitely be looking out for more of Kate's books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Valerie Harris
    Worcestershire
    11/15/08
    Overall
    "A good story spoilt"

    This was a good story but Oh dear the \" Cornish \" accent was so excruciating to listen to, spoilt it for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • grace cassar
    9/25/08
    Overall
    "Pleasant read but could have been shorter"

    I enjoyed this book but must admit could have been a couple of hours shorter.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria Cormie
    8/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Regional accents"
    What aspect of Caroline Lee’s performance might you have changed?

    I did enjoy Caroline Lee's voice when she wasn't trying to do regional accents, she has an engaging and warm voice. However, her attempts at Yorkshire and Cornish accents were so attrocious and grating that it would have been much better just to have not tried at all.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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