The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (Feb 16 2010)
First I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Anneliese from Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy of this georgous book!
This was my first Kate Morton novel and I will say that it will not be my last. This book is a lush telling of a little girl who is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. All she has in her possession when she arrives is a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a book - a book of fairytales. She is found by the kindly dockmaster and his wife and they raise her as their own daughter. On her 21st birthday Nell is told about how she was found, and with only vague memories of her past she sets off on a quest to find her true identity. Her journey leads her all the way to the Blackhurst manor in England, the lavish home of the Mountrachet family. Each corner digs the mystery deeper, and not until her granddaughter takes up the task after Nell's death is the puzzle finally solved.
This tale is so rich and beautifully woven together, there is no other way to describe it! I personally happen to love historical fiction, and also stories that interweave the past with the present. Along with Nell and Cassandra escavating Nell's past, are two other parts of the puzzle. One is of the woman known as The Authoress, Eliza, when she was a child and how she fits into Nell's life story. You will find yourself not predicting the outcome, but being gently led along the path to uncover the clues along with the characters. The setting is fertile and breathtaking what with all of the ocean breezes, misty mornings and the seaside cliff cottage.
This book could easily have gotten waaaay to complicated with all of the jumping around in time and the perspective changing from one person to the next, but it didn't . I don't know HOW Kate manages to keep it all straight and beautifully unfolding the narrative bit by bit without confusing us, but she DOES. I was constantly astounded at her skill as a writer. Every once and a while I would come across a passage and think, "And there it is." a detail brought up that was important to the overall outcome but was afraid that it would have been forgotten or not brought up again.
BRAVA! To Miss Morton! I cannot WAIT to dive into my ARC of The Distant Hours, and will hopefully be doing a giveaway of it at the time of my review. I believe it is being released on November 9th so watch for it then!