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The Forgotten Garden | [Kate Morton]

The Forgotten Garden

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.
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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

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Performance
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  •  
    avid reader 04-30-10
    avid reader 04-30-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"

    I am the kind of person who likes to read literary, "paper" books (classics, Russian lit, lit criticism) and listen to more popular, "fun" audiobooks (mysteries, historical fiction). I love to listen to a long audiobook (Wilkie Collins, Ken Follet) while driving or cleaning. One of my favorite audiobooks is "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield, and "The Forgotten Garden" is almost as good. I agree with other reviewers that it's a bit predictable, but even so, it's a sweeping, engrossing, and fun book to listen to. If you loved "The Thirteenth Tale," you will probably love "The Forgotten Garden," and so for that reason, I give it 5 stars.

    76 of 79 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 07-26-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 07-26-10 Member Since 2009

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Six stars if I could"

    I rate a book probably more for how it is written than for any of its other facets. I enjoy an interesting plot. I hope for well-developed characters and surprise endings. This book has it all and much, much more. On the surface, these are three stories beautifully woven into one. But there is much more. It is a story about the writing of a book of faerie tales that is a faerie tale itself. It is challenging to critique this book without giving away too much. I will just leave it to the lucky readers to discover the many wonderful aspects of this book for themselves. In short, of the last fifty books or so that I have read this year, this is one of the two very best hands down.

    55 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna K. Ford Little Rock AR USA 08-17-08
    Donna K. Ford Little Rock AR USA 08-17-08 Member Since 2007

    English Mystery Collector

    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    "Another Winner from Kate Morton"

    If you have not read The Shifting Fog (The House at
    Riverton) or this new one then you have two TREATS
    in store. Kate Morton is a story teller extraordinaire and Caroline Lee adds the magic with
    her superb narration. Dark family secrets,evil behavior,enthralling characters some of whom are damaged beyond repair are all uncovered as Nell struggles to find who she really is. If you like
    storytelling as it used to be this one is for you!

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Austin, TX, United States 12-10-08
    Joseph Austin, TX, United States 12-10-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Enchanting, intriguing, mysterious, and beautiful"

    Honestly, I bought this by accident, adding it to my cart when I tried to click on the title, then checking out without noticing it. Best literary mistake I've ever made.

    This is an enchanting story that takes place over three, even four, eras. At first it seems a little distracting, as each time you get drawn in to one story you shift to another, but soon you are caught in all three tales, for different reasons, and can't wait to get back to each to find a conclusion.

    The tales themselves intertwine to tell one story, one novel, each being intriguing in their own right. With elements of historical, mystery, romance, generational, and personal journey genres, this story is as complex as it is developed. Each scene is well crafted, and the entire novel flows into one whole, rather than seeming episodic, as these types sometimes do.

    The good characters are charming, the bad characters disturbingly villainous, each story is intriguing, the settings and historical research creep up on you to create a setting you feel a part of. You'll find yourself looking beyond the boundaries of the story, even, feeling you can see the world beyond what the author created. By the end, the story manages to be emotionally fulfilling while longingly agonizing.

    And the narrator is exceptional, as well. Nice accents, accurate individual voices for each character, and a skilled narrative tone throughout. Definitely adds to the experience.

    This is one of my favorites, even if I bought it by accident.

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Blounts Creek, NC, United States 01-16-10
    Susan Blounts Creek, NC, United States 01-16-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Comfort food for my ears"

    This book is like a bowl of wonderful homemade vegetable soup on a cold winter day. A little predictable but warms you from head to toe!
    The narration was excellent and easy on the ears. I enjoyed the musical notes between chapters.
    The shift between periods and locations was handled nicely. There is enough subtle orientation so that you easily remember what was happening when you were last in this time and place.

    44 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 02-28-09
    Jeffrey 02-28-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoroughly engaging tale"

    It was hard to stop listening to this engaging tale of five generations of the Montrachet family, who have been separated by jealousy and anger. Told by beautiful Eliza, Nell and her grandaughter Cassandra, it's the unveiling of the mystery of how four year old Nell ends up alone on a ship from England to Australia, there to be brought up by strangers. Nell begins a new life in Australia but leaves her grandaughter, Cassandra, to piece back together the fascinating story of Nell's childhood and where they came from. An enchanting story well told.

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    liveon2legs St. Louis, MO 06-09-09
    liveon2legs St. Louis, MO 06-09-09 Member Since 2008
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    "A pleasant suprise"

    I purchased this because it was on sale for $4 and had good reviews, I am glad I happened across it. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. The story was a pleasure to listen to. I don't always go for mystery novels, but this one had me guessing from the beginning.

    The best part of the story for me was the framing of original fairy tales through out the novel. They were all a pleasure to read and added just enough fantasy into the mix.

    If you are on the fence about this one, it is well worth your credit.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Norman, OK, USA 02-23-10
    Holly Norman, OK, USA 02-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Crockpot Mystery--Not For Microwave Readers"

    My first attempt at listening to this book failed because I was wanting a quick-paced, twist and turn "microwaved" mystery. It is not for those wanting instant gratification. If that is you, I would suggest not buying the book. However, on my second attempt, the book became just want I wanted. It is a slow, layered mystery that takes time to simmer and cook. I liked the different points of view and time periods because it added depth of understanding. I couldn't stop listening because I wanted to know the "why" as much as the characters themselves. It is a "darker" narrative, so if you want sunshine and roses, this book is not for you. If you are patient and willing to wait for characters to develop and grow and a mystery to be unraveled, then you should enjoy this book. I really found it refreshing and engaging. The narrator is top-notch as well.

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie M. 10-01-08
    Annie M. 10-01-08 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Fantastic modern day fairy tale"

    A stately English country home, its exterior a beautiful mask for dark secrets within.

    A mysterious cottage perched on a cliff high above the English sea.

    A secret garden, its blooms walled off from the world.

    Two cousins, both beautiful, both devoted to one another.

    And a four-year-old girl who appears mysteriously on the docks at an Australian port, with nothing to explain her existence but a book of fairy tales.

    Indeed, fairy tales take center stage in ?The Forgotten Garden,? Kate Morton?s rapturous follow-up to ?The House at Riverton.? In fact, getting this book through Audible.com is almost a bit of fairy magic in itself, given that the hard copy is not scheduled for publication until April, 2009.

    The manner in which the book leaps between 2005 Brisbane, Dickensian London, andCornwall in 1975 as well as 2005 can be a bit disconcerting at first. But as if sprinkled by magic dust, you are quickly pulled into the tale. At the center are two beautiful cousins, Rose and Eliza. One is privileged but sickly, the other poor, but spirited. Together they combine their strengths and become an indomitable pair, forever linked by their devotion to one another.

    Until the ultimate promise is honored?and a secret is born that might very well destroy them--and all who follow.

    ?The Forgotten Garden? features characters you would find in most fairy tales?a good and noble heroine (actually several, since this story spans multiple generations), a misguided king who is overpowered by his evil queen, a good prince, a loyal handmaiden, a noble woodsman (or, in this case, gardener), and, of course, an enchanted garden.

    But each character is fully realized and made modern. ?The Forgotten Garden? is a rich and rewarding read that will not be forgotten any time soon.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia E Palo Alto, CA, USA 08-07-08
    Lydia E Palo Alto, CA, USA 08-07-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
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    5
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    Overall
    "excellent book"

    I absolutely loved this book. I was spellbound by the characters, and loved the narrator's voice as she switched from person to person. This book jumps around quite a bit in time, which I was afraid would be confusing, but it clearly tells you which time period you are entering and you get so wrapped up in the characters lives that you wait impatiently for your "favorite" to cycle back. :) I would definitely recommend this to those who like great fiction.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 457 results PREVIOUS1246NEXT
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  • Karen
    Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom
    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • catherine kilby
    9/10/09
    Overall
    "the forgotten garden"

    I had already read this book a couple of times and enjoyed it very much so thought it would be good to have the story playing whilst I work. The narrator managed the tale well and was convincing and engaging until she tackled the Cornish accent. I live in Cornwall so have to admit that I found it amusing to begin with but increasingly irritating as the story went on. It is a shame as it mars what would otherwise be a very good listen.

    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.

    0 of 0 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.

    0 of 0 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.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-25 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

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