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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

“You make a life out of what you have, not what you’re missing.”

I am so excited to share my views on this amazing book by Kate Morton. Out of her six books I read this one first and I absolutely feel in love with her writing and imagination. After reading all of Dan Brown’s books, I was looking for some more murder-mystery and romance genre books to read, and I found the perfect writer in Kate Morton (thanks Amazon recommendation!).

Fun fact: Forgotten Garden was Kate Morton’s first novel!

The story revolves around three eras (1913, 1975, and 2005) trying to solve the mystery of a small 4-year-old abandoned girl found on the harbor of Australian wharf in 1913, unable to remember her name. Where did she come from? Who is the Authoress she speaks of? Years later, and now an old lady, Nell, who was adopted by a kind Australian man, travels to Cornwall to a beautiful estate called the Blackhurst Manor owned by the prestigious Mountrachet family, to find out about her real parents. What triggered her journey back to her birthplace all these years later? Finally, in 2005 after Nell’s death, her granddaughter, Cassandra, became the owner of the Cliff cottage in the Blackhurst Manor much to her surprise. Amongst the locals of Cornwall, the Blackhurst Manor is much famous for all the secrets and rumors it holds about the doomed Mountrachet family. However, the cottage has been abandoned for years, and in it’s forgotten garden Cassandra might find the answers to why Nell was abandoned all those years ago. And what does the Authoress mean to her grandmother?

Love, betrayal, discovering oneself, and a family legacy to protect this book displays how a small mistake can lead to horrifying endings. You might think you know the ending, but that’s just what Morton wants you to think. This book will make you cry, laugh, then cry a little more. The depiction of high class families and their rules, plus the cost of following your love against all odds in the late 19th and early 20th century, is portrayed beautifully in the book. However, in the middle of the book I felt the information I was getting was nowhere related to the story (oh! I was so wrong). Understanding the characters and knowing their pasts are important parts of the whole puzzle. Kate Morton did an amazing job of making all of her characters feel real. The best part? There are no “villains” in the story. Just people. Just people making decisions based on their horrible past and their suffering. But that doesn’t mean they can be forgiven of the horrible things they did. The maze leading up to the forgotten garden in the Blackhurst Manor is full of twists and turns, just like the story. One wrong step, and you might lose yourself forever.

I really hope you love this book as much as I do and I absolutely fell in love with Kate Morton’s stories! Enjoy the read, if you have read this book, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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