The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (2008)

The Forgotten Garden is the third book by the Australian author, Kate Morton, that I’ve read and it has been the best of the three. The other two books were The Lake House (2016) and The Secret Keeper (2012) which I read in that order. I didn’t pay any attention to the date of their publication (except that I knew they’d been written in recent times) and just read them as I came across secondhand copies.

Mother didn’t understand that children aren’t frightened by stories; that their lives are full of far more frightening things than those contained in fairy tales.

I presumed The Forgotten Garden was written later than the other two as it was a much better plot and more smoothly written. The characters were well developed and interesting. The storyline had a slightly Gothic feel with a smattering of Dicken’s London thrown in which suited those parts of the story where the author did some travelling back in time.
This has been a feature Morton has used in all three books and she does it well. In The Forgotten Garden the story moves between 1913, 1975 and 2005. I found each time period interesting unlike The Secret Keeper where I just wanted to skip certain parts because the main character in one of the time periods was a dreadful narcissist.

Why should a woman take back her child, then send her on a long and treacherous journey to a foreign land, alone?

There were some interesting themes explored in The Forgotten Garden as well as some matters that were touched on briefly – the historical misuse of X-Rays and a case of surrogacy, for example. One feature of this book that I enjoyed was stories from a book of fairy tales which had parallels to the main narrative and helped to solve some of the mysterious elements encountered by the modern time protagonists of 2005.
Kate Morton knows how to craft a story and intertwine a mystery and I think she has done it exceptionally well in this book.
I might have given up on reading any more of her books but Emma @words & peace recommended this one and it has redeemed the author’s writing for me – thanks, Emma. 🙂 I agree and disagree with this idea:

The happiest folk are those that are busy, for their minds are starved of time to seek out woe.

Linking to the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge & TBR 23 in’23

3 thoughts on “The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (2008)

  1. Pingback: March Blether | journey & destination

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