Reviews

The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

pigisa's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark emotional mysterious relaxing slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

sarahkerner's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

A very enjoyable read, although I was able to guess the plot twist before the end!

alexreading's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

I found it a bit difficult to start this book, but once I had it was very good! Written in three different periods of time and told by three different people the views of characters who figure in the novel are different depending on who tells the story. Which is intresting considering how much today we base our opinions on what is written, it is easy to be miss-guided! A well written novel which builds up slowly to reveal and intresting plots, nothing is really transparent (except maybe Christian). I enjoyed the magical element as well, extra spice if you will :)

lizdesole's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

I wasn't sure how to rate this book. I did enjoy it but found its flaws detracted considerably from my overall feeling about the book. I enjoyed the interweaving of fairy tales and other fiction into the story. I'm particularly happy that the author gave a nod to "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett since this book owes it a huge debt. I was interested in the story and characters but the "mysteries" at the heart were so obvious and then drawn out for entirely too long. In fact, my main criticism of the book is that is is so drawn out. I also had issue with what seemed to be the main message: namely that the most important part of you is inherited by blood. She backtracks a little in a weak way towards the end but I found it frustrating that bloodlines were so important to everyone in the story

nonabgo's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

[b:The Forgotten Garden|3407877|The Forgotten Garden|Kate Morton|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1547843777l/3407877._SY75_.jpg|3448086] is full of mystery, beautiful descriptions, multi-faceted characters you can relate to, just like all the other [a:Kate Morton|615274|Kate Morton|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1536334121p2/615274.jpg] books I've read. However, despite my initial excitement after reading [b:The House at Riverton|1278752|The House at Riverton|Kate Morton|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1356452218l/1278752._SX50_.jpg|1267740], I sort of got bored with her style a little bit and that's why I'm rating these books at 3* and not higher. She needs to find different angles, as it all seems repetitive after the first 2 books. I will however *probably* read whatever else she writes in the future.

The book is, again, an easy read and you can probably call it a vacation book, the kind you take with you on the beach. I couldn't put it down despite being what I would call a classic chick book (I may be wrong but I seriously doubt there are guys who would read this kind of lit).

It's still going back-and-forth between 3 different times, talking about 4 related women from different generations, one of them harbouring a secret that would impact the lives of all the others. A secret which is only revealed to the youngest, after much investigation.

I'm not familiar with high society lifestyle, but for some reason I always found the mysteries a bit stretched, but that doesn't take anything from the enjoyment this book has brought me. I will, however, say that the book could have easily finished a good 50 pages earlier and that the last part was just never ending and pointless.

Some storylines were, from my point of view, bullshit - why would Eliza's mother live like that, when it's clear her family was missing her? Plus the whole Linus arc which was creepy and boring (rare combination). I won't even go into that whole love story at the end. Too many useless details and drama and obviously not enough when really needed - like Georgiana's story, which should have been more developed, as opposed to others.

I also ended us despising Nell and thinking she was just an ungrateful b***h who messed up (and ruined) the lives of her adoptive father, her sisters, her fiance and her daughter. definitely not a heroine or an example for her granddaughter.

I find myself writing a bit too much about the bad parts, but the truth is that, despite all of these, the book is quite engrossing and kept me hooked until the end, mainly due to the beautiful writing and the twists and turns in the story.

rntylr22's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

As a person who loves fairy tale retellings, I was completely captivated by this book. It felt to me sort of like [b:The Thirteenth Tale|40440|The Thirteenth Tale|Diane Setterfield|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346267826s/40440.jpg|849453] with the dark family history. But it was so refreshing to have an adult book with the fairy tale background. I really enjoyed how the narrative crossed across generations, so you were getting the original story, and then watching Nell and Cassandra try to fit the pieces back together. The mystery is one I solved before the characters did themselves, but the "how" was still thrilling to find out. While I suppose we could blame the characters for their poor choices, it wouldn't make for such an engrossing read. And everything turned out alright in the end. Not for everyone, but that's not the way life works. This has quickly become a new favourite of mine, its dark, tragic and beautifully written. A definite buy so I can enjoy it over again.

books_and_tea_with_me's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

Loved this book, very interesting to find out all the twists and turns.

sockielady's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

At first I was a little annoyed with how the story kept jumping back and forth between the three timelines/storylines (even though each chapter indicated the year in which it took place, so it's not like I had no clue right off which timeline/storyline I was reading). But I guess I got used to it, because all in all I really enjoyed the book. In retrospect, I think the jumping around was the best way to tell the story without revealing too much to the reader at any one time.

booksaremyjam's review against another edition

Go to review page

2.0

So Kate Morton wrote one book about different generations of women in a family having secrets. Then she decided that every book ever was going to circle around this and isn't that just a marvelous idea?!.

No, Kate, no. It is not a marvelous idea.

I was pumped about The Forgotten Garden because I really, really enjoyed The Secret Keeper. I wish someone had stopped me and warned that it'd be the same twists just with different people in a different time period. It would have saved me some time.

Basically Cassandra's grandmother, Nell, dies (Cassandra's mother is out of the picture and is a negligent bitch, but this is never explained/explored), and has left her a house in England. A house in England?! But we live in Australia!!

...

Cassandra has absolutely nothing going on in her life, so she is able to spend a ton of time and $$ to check out the house (Something sad happened to Cassandra that totally shattered her and blahblah predictable issues of a broken woman and holy wow can we just not with the stereotypes?! god!). Where Cassandra is getting all this $$ is never explored, but we shouldn't worry about that because ooohhhh!! Mystery!!!

The book is split between 3 time periods: Nell's family waaayyy back in the early 1900s, Nell herself exploring England in 1976, and Cassandra in "present day" (2005). The early 1900s chapters were entertaining, but I really disliked the other two. This book would have been much better if it had been solely about what happened at Blackhurst Manor in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, Morton is so damn hung up on secrets that she needs to package her "mystery" 3 times over before she's satisfied with it.

It may be because I had already read The Secret Keeper, but everything was obvious from the get-go. Her method of unpacking the elements of her mystery were so damn similar, it's almost like she had a chart on her wall helping her map out the formula. Also, did she JUST learn how to write?? The prose are clunky at best and NO ONE IN REAL LIFE TALKS LIKE THESE CHARACTERS TALK. Everything felt so incredibly stiff - I'm shocked the same person wrote The Secret Keeper; a book I dearly loved.

Contrived, blase, and disappointing, The Forgotten Garden is best left unopened.

Kate Morton and Gillian Flynn should start a club. A "I wrote one really good book but all of my other books really smell up the joint and that good book was just a fluke! Sorry! Kthanxbye!" club - but I guess all that wouldn't fit above the door now would it?

alinetrochu's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Excellent story, has you gripped until the very end. For this second novel, Kate Morton doesn't disapoint!