The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

“We're all unique, just never in the ways we imagine.” 

An abandoned child on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman who has the strange name of Authoress and vows to watch over the child but is nowhere to be found once the ship sets sail. A young girl learns a terrible secret on her twenty-first birthday, an unexpected inheritance that gathers all of these seemingly separate lives into one, both past and present. 

This was the first of Kate Morton's novels that I have read and I was mesmerized! Each character is developed with such depth and life; each setting is described in such detail that one can immediately find oneself transported to that exact location in time. Each emotion displayed with such force and feeling. I picked up this book at night just before bedtime, was instantly pulled into its pages and its stories, reluctantly put it down at about three in the morning due to my sleep-laden eyelids not willing to cooperate, picked it back up first thing in the morning and read all 600-odd pages of it in one day! I loved every minute of it and it will be a book that I will read many times in my lifetime. 

On her twenty-first birthday, Nell learns of a terrible secret that alters her life forever. Several decades later, she begins her journey to search for the truth and finds herself on the Cornish coast near the Blackhurst Manor owned by the wealthy aristocratic Mountrachet family. When Nell dies, her great-grand daughter, Cassandra, receives an unexpected inheritance—Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden—which holds some dark and mysterious secrets involving the Mountrachet family and their ward, Eliza Makepeace, the author of some dark fairytales. It is here that Cassandra uncovers the secrets leading to the abandonment of a little girl with a small white suitcase, on a ship bound for Australia. 

There were so many little stories interwoven in this novel that I actually needed a pedigree chart to keep it all straight. It was an enchanting novel that draws on the novel 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgens, who happens to make an appearance in this book. Very clever writing, I must say. Kate managed to bring to life century-old characters and emotions that finally find their outlet in Cassandra as she throws herself into restoring the hundred-year old cottage with its forgotten garden.

To learn more about Kate Morton and her inspiration to write this incredible novel, click HERE

This is a book that I would recommend to anyone looking for a great read. It is one that I will always remember and return to its stories often. 


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