Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

I cannot quite remember what compelled me to buy The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton at the booksale and why I recently began reading it.  I think that I thought that I might be a good story without the mental challenge of some of the books that I have been  reading recently. An escape, and a mystery with enough substance to keep me interested.

I must admit that I underestimated how good this book is.  With the fuss and bother of the Christmas season, I was not able to read as much as I would like, and yet I made time to read it every night.  The reason why I stayed with it, getting through about 20 pages a night, is because the plot is so riveting. In the beginning of the book, a young girl is found on a busy dock in Australia, alone and unwilling to tell anyone her name.  This girl grows into a woman, who is driven to discover her identity and how she ended up in Australia that fateful day.  The mystery takes both Nell, the girl found on the dock, and her granddaughter Cassandra on a quest which leads them both to the Cornish coast of England, with a lot of unanswered questions.

The narrative is structured interestingly, with the investigations of Nell, Cassandra and the secrets of the mysterious authoress, Eliza Makepeace, being presented in parallel.  It is a intergenerational story in which a lot of characters each have their own axes to grind (for want of a better term).  Right up until the last pages of the story, one is still putting the pieces together and I was riveted in a way that I have not been for quite some time.  Doing everything I can to avoid chores and gardening, I made a concerted effort to carve out time to finish this book, and I was rewarded when all of the questions I had were answered.  At every turn there were scandalous discoveries, which kept me intrigued and thinking about the book throughout my regular work day, and each revelation is revealed tantalizingly slowly.  

I am going to wrap up this blog entry, more in the interest of not revealing any more of this plot than I absolutely have to.  Needless to say, I highly recommend that anyone looking for a compelling mystery pick up The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.