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)
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
A lovely long read of finding who you are through your family history. The same story told through three generations giving you glimpses from the early 1900's, mid 70's and 2005.
"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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