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'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
I found this well written with several wonderful little phrases and sentences. The story was very pleasant and a relief from some of the challenging reality reading I've been doing lately.
Writer, editor, translator.
In other words, typical Kate Morton. I like long, wind-y plots that take hours to listen to and this book fit the bill perfectly. It was however, rather despair-invoking. Caroline Lee's perfect reading kept me going, as well as the humorous asides that very occasionally find their way into the story. The ending was more positive relative to the other two of her books available here, and for that reason, was mostly worth journeying towards.
I liked this recording quite a bit--the reader was versatile and compelling (except for the American accents, which were hilarious) and Kate Morton's prose is strong.
My only complaint is that the *mystery* at the heart of the story is not very mysterious at all, and it can be a bit frustrating to watch the characters debate and stumble around a question the author has already resolved for her readership.
Love this one too. Twists and turns, but enchanting in its development. Couldn't wait to get back in the car to hear more. Sat in the driveway--couldn't turn it off on many occasions. Quite long.
I've learned that a simple story is best while walking the dog. I tend to meet and greet the neighbors, deal with squirrel chasing, etc., and sometimes miss chunks of a book, so any story where that can happen and I'm still engrossed and can keep track of the plot is a really good listen. The Forgotten Garden served this purpose well, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The jumping around that others have noted didn't really bother me because the mystery evolves so slowly that you can actually ignore a few pages and not really miss anything essential. I found that I was way ahead of the plot in terms of my own understanding, and in several instances, had to wait for the book to catch up. My only real complaint is that there would be long periods of third person narration, which is fine, but too frequently, when the story would switch to a comment by one of the main characters (Eliza, Nell, or Cassandra), this was almost always in the form of a question. The overall effect was to make them appear rather stupid. Story story story -- then HUH? Once I noticed this, I couldn't keep myself from listening to see if there would be yet another HUH? and it was always there. In the end the characters are rather flat, but overall the mystery is engaging and I do recommend the book.
This is the second book I have listened too of Kate Morton's. The Shifting Fog was the first book, which was great, however The Forgotten Garden was even better.
The Narrator Caroline Lee just makes the book come alive.
Can definitely highly recommend this book!
This is one of those books that transports you to another day and time. I came to feel as if I knew Cassandra, Nell, and Eliza. The narrator seemlessly changed from one character's voice to another and the various accents added to the realism of the story. I enjoyed this book so much and will be checking out other books by this author and narrator.
Wow,, what an enthralling story. Well written and the narration is very well done. I thought at the first time that she starts that time change that it was going to be hard to keep track of all the coming and going of the different story lines, but Miss Morton was able to transition effortlessly,and the story line was easy to follow.I really enjoyed this book
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