This month we’re reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Selected because Kate Morgan went to the University of Queensland as did one of our book club members.
Here’s the stuff on the back …
A lost child
On the eve of the first world war, a little girl is found abandoned on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman called the Authoress had promised to look after her – but the Authoress has disappeared without a trace.
A terrible secret
On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell O’Connor learns a secret that will change her life forever. Decades later, she embarks upon a search for the truth that leads her to the windswept Cornish coast and the strange and beautiful Blackhurst Manor, once owned by the aristocratic Mountrachet family.
A mysterious inheritance
On Nell’s death, her grand-daughter, Cassandra, comes into an unexpected inheritance. Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold – secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales. It is here that Cassandra will finally uncover the truth about the family, and solve the century-old mystery of a little girl lost.
I found this story compelling. I wanted to know what happened to Nell, who were her parents. Ms Morton certainly knows how to write a ripping yarn. The novel is told from the point of view (chapter about) of many different characters; Cassandra, Nell, Eliza etc. Thus the novel also moves forwards and backwards in time – revealing more information (or more red herrings as the case may be). I can see this novel being made into movie (although the ending might not suit Hollywood).
I thought the characters were well written (if a bit cliched) and I do think they live beyond the page.
Overall I liked this book, but it is airport fiction (like Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code). However, I thought it was well researched with lots of seemingly disparate threads that came together in a suitable ending.