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.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
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!
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.
"I struggled through this one..."
I struggled through this book I'm afraid. I didn't find the story that gripping and the narrators monotone voice did nothing to enhance it.
"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.
"The ending was very good"
I loved the book. The story was very interesting and i never felt like i was bored.
"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.
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.
"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.
"Pleasant read but could have been shorter"
I enjoyed this book but must admit could have been a couple of hours shorter.
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.
Nice story....however.... The Australian narrator's attempts at the West country and Northern accents are hilariously bad, at one point morphing between Irish, Scottish, Liverpudlian and a "Kevin and Perry-esque" mancunian all in one sentence. Was akin to listening to someone singing 'off key' for several hours!
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