Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden

You know me.  Always a little worried I will be at odds with my book club on my opinion of a book.  But guess what?  This time I wasn't.  And this time we all loved The Forgotten Garden.

The story is about a little 4 year old girl who, after a voyage alone across the ocean, is left on the dock in Australia.  It is 1913 and the manager of the dock takes her home where he and his wife raise her as their own.  The following story, the whole 550 plus pages, unwinds the mystery of her past.

I loved how the story wove generations of women together.  At first, I thought the book was jumpy as it hopped back and forth from the past to the present, but once I was more into the novel, the flashbacks seemed to flow better.  I also found that the writing and the dialog didn't feel forced or contrived. There was a beautiful flow with the descriptions and language.  

Illustration from inside the front cover.

It is best to read this book consistently.  If not you will forget characters and their relationships to each other.  I finally made myself a genealogy chart to keep things strait.  It probably would have helped if I had made a list of the characters from the English village in 1975 because some showed up again in 2005.

Kate Morton

I only have one complaint of the book.  When the girl, Nell, is an adult, her father tells her she is not his, that he found her on the dock.  She then has a break down of sorts, becomes bitter, and distances herself from all those that she loves.  This seems inconsistent with the lovely young woman she has become.  Regardless, I felt emotionally involved with the characters, good and bad, as they evolved and as the story intertwined through the generations.   It was worth the 557 pages! 4 out of 5 stars.

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