Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden opens in Australia in 1913. A young girl has been left alone on a dock and has nowhere to go. This scene opens a mystery that the reader will chase for the next 500 pages. The unfolding of the mystery spans nearly 100 years, two continents, and three generations of women--one in the early 1900s, one in 1975, and one in 2005. As the secret that ties these women together is revealed, Morton weaves a fascinating story of love, jealousy, and the need to find a place where one belongs.
I really loved this book and I couldn't put it down. Morton is a great storyteller, and she does a wonderful job of slowly unfurling the mystery surrounding her characters so that the reader isn't really sure what the conclusion will be until the final pages of the novel. I feel like Morton also did a good job of representing the different times and places in her novel, while giving all of the women a certain familiar sense. The jumps between time periods were not confusing for me, and I actually thought they heightened the mystery and gave the story the satisfying sense of a slowly assembled puzzle.
I would definitely recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, gothic novels, and intergenerational family tales. I can't wait to see what else comes from Ms. Morton.
I just found out this book was also selected as one of Amazon's "Best of the Month" for April! Check out what they have to say: