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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    5,757
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    3,042
  • 3 Stars
    1,008
  • 2 Stars
    258
  • 1 Stars
    172

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,770
  • 3 Stars
    460
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    59

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 1 Stars
    108
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AM
  • 01-05-13

Great book - great reader

What did you love best about The Forgotten Garden?

This is almost like an adult fairy tale...the reader's voice was perfect - could picture every scene in my mind like a movie. It was also a nice change of pace for me - no war, no history, no genocides...the book is sad for sure, but its just all over a good story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Book about tracing family roots!

Would you listen to The Forgotten Garden again? Why?

This is a complicated story line that was worthy of a second look. The story kept me coming back for more. A second go round would surely prIovide even more insight into the story line.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked Cassandra as a character, because of her devotion to her grandmother and her perseverence to discovering the truth. She also showed growth because of her challenges. Second best would have to be Eliza, she too, seemed to grow through the story and met her challenges face on. I believe it is a tie between which I would have liked best!

What about Caroline Lee’s performance did you like?

Caroline Lee made the story seem real. While listening to this, I did not have to think about who was speaking or remember that it was a story being read. She managed to make the story alive while she read it.

If you could rename The Forgotten Garden, what would you call it?

Complicated Family Ties

Any additional comments?

I liked this book so well, that I forgot we had picked it for the book club and after reading it, recommennded it back to the book club!! There were so many facets to the story that it just held me transfixed from beginning to end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jess
  • West Orange, NJ, United States
  • 12-29-12

magical read

If you could sum up The Forgotten Garden in three words, what would they be?

It will take you away. Need a break from your every day grind? Pick this up and find yourself far, far away.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janet
  • Butler, PA, United States
  • 12-26-12

Loved it! The writing is very well done!

I enjoyed listening to this book! I love the writer's style -- she describes things very well and made me feel like I was there. The story was entertaining and I looked forward to listening to it and missed it when I was done with the book. I would recommend it and will be looking for other Kate Morton books to read. There is a good deal of jumping around in time. At first it seemed annoying, but as the story went along, I got used to that and it actually worked pretty well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donnise
  • columbia, tn, United States
  • 12-25-12

A nice escape read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, lovely story that was I really enjoyed!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nell because she reminds me of my own grandmother

What about Caroline Lee’s performance did you like?

I could listen to her all day.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction except for the evil aunt.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Ohio - USA
  • 12-22-12

Total Magic!

Where does The Forgotten Garden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of my favorites so far. Kate Morton's stories and Caroline Lee's narration together are absolute magic.

What other book might you compare The Forgotten Garden to and why?

The only comparison I have are other Kate Morton books. She is awesome! I haven't read anything that I would compare it to at this time.

What about Caroline Lee’s performance did you like?

Everything! I love the way she narrates the story ... you become totally immersed in the story. Her accents are fabulous in my opinion.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

As always, it is the end where all the threads of the story are brought together to weave a beautiful tapestry! It is a story I will continue to think about. The fairy tales were magnificent too. Such a well written story! I can't say enough about this book. I was so sorry to see it end. Every character leaves a mark on you.

Any additional comments?

Give us more, Kate and Caroline! And thanks for the awesome stories!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A very enjoyable book.

The characters were well developed and interesting. The story was great, and the twists and turns kept you guessing. The performance was very good.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • A User
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 12-20-12

Creative plot

It took a while for this story to capture my interest but eventually it did and I enjoyed the unique plot. The story follows generations of a family at different time periods. A few bars of music cue the reader to a time period change so it doesn't get confusing. A mystery is central to the story and is revealed toward the end. The narrator's natural mild Australian accent was very pleasant to listen to but when she tried to speak in other accents each word was enunciated separately which seemed odd to me. I'm glad I listened to the book and would recommend it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cariola
  • Chambersburg, PA USA
  • 12-19-12

Multigenerational Mystery

The Forgotten Garden is a multi-generational mystery that takes place on two continents (three, if we count a brief sojourn in America) over more than 100 years, from Victoria's England to 21st century Australia. The mystery begins when Cassandra's grandmother and antique shop partner, Nell, passes away and leaves her the deed to a cottage in Cornwall. When and why had her grandmother gone to England. and why had she purchased a house there, only to return to Australia? The answer: to find out who she was. And now Cassandra embarks on the same journey.

Morton unpeels the layers of the story through alternating chapters set in alternating times that focus on Nell, Cassandra, young aristocrat Rose Mountrechet, and Eliza Makepeace, known as "The Authoress." It's an interesting structure, and Morton is a very competent writer. As a mystery (which I don't usually read), it kept me engaged, and although I figured out what was going on about halfway through, there were enough missing details to make it worth finishing the book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren G.
  • Austin, TX United States
  • 12-11-12

Enjoyable book

Would you listen to The Forgotten Garden again? Why?

Yes, I would listen to this book again. The story is complex, mysterious, and enjoyable.

What other book might you compare The Forgotten Garden to and why?

The Secret Garden

What does Caroline Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Caroline Lee brought a lifelike emotion that I would not have experienced just reading the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, I did not have an extreme reaction to this book.