As you may know from my last post, I’m an active user of goodreads and love it for many, many reasons. One of the things that makes my experience even better is being a member of the Bookworm Bitches group.
In January, I participated in the “To-Be-Read Pals” event, which meant that I was paired with another group member who suggested a book she loved for me to read. My pal was a lovely lady named Kayla who recommended The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton. Spoiler alert: I was NOT disappointed!
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In Australia, in 1913, a little girl is found all alone on a ship coming from England. Nobody knows who she is and since no one claims her, a childless couple raise her as their own.
Fast forward to 2005. The little girl is now an old lady named Nell, who has just passed away. Her granddaughter, Cassandra, whom she mostly raised, is filled with grief. That’s when Cassandra learns that Nell left her a house in England that she knew nothing about. This event sets her on a journey to figure out who her grandmother was exactly, following the thread of an old fairy tale book.
Okay, I have to be honest, I absolutely ADORED this book. The pace, while a bit slow at first, picked up soon enough for me. This novel is definitely a page turner. I found myself so engrossed in the mystery of Nell’s true identity that I would keep reading WAY past my bedtime, into the wee hours of the night. The many twists and turns along the way kept me on my toes and I enjoyed being surprised quite a few times.
The characters were all so well developed I felt like they were real people. Even the smaller characters were believable. None of them was perfect, far from it, but their complexity is what makes them so authentic.
Kate Morton knows how to paint images with words and her descriptions were just enough to let my imagination go wild without getting me bored with too many details. Reading The Forgotten Garden really made me wish I owned a cottage beside a cliff in England.
As much as the characters are well detailed and could really exist, some of them are honestly completely unlikeable. It took me quite some time to finally soften towards a few of them. Others never found their way to my heart, but I think the author intended it that way.
After all the back and forth, the ending was in the end not a huge surprise. At least, it totally felt good!
- You like historical fiction with a touch of mystery.
- You love strong female characters.
- You enjoy feel-good stories set in charming small towns.
- You appreciated The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Happy reading and until next time, Jammies!