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The Forgotten Garden
Platinum Fiction Series

by Kate Morton


In 1913 a four year old girl is abandoned on the Mayborough wharf in Brisbane harbor, Australia. Her only possession is a little white suitcase containing a book of fairy tales. Dock master Hugh Swindell and his wife Lil adopt her when no one claims her. Since she didn't know her name they name her Nell.

On Nell's 21st birthday Hugh reveals her past history to her. With this revelation her whole world falls apart. She leaves what she had known as her home to seek a life of her own. She marries and has a daughter, Lesley. She tries to piece together the little information she can find about her past, and goes to Cornwall where she finds some answers. Just as she’s on the verge of returning to Cornwall, Lesley leaves her daughter, Cassandra, with Nell, who has to cancel her plans in order to raise the child.

When Nell dies, Cassandra finds more mystery about Nell and finds herself the owner of a cottage in Cornwall. She journeys to Cornwall to finally solve the puzzle of Nell's origin. She finds a decrepit cottage in a walled garden that contains the secrets and the story of the Mountrachet family.

The Forgotten Garden is a compelling story of the lives of several women woven into a tapestry of love, deception and betrayal. The story skips back and forth between time periods spanning 100 years. The story is told through the actions of the complex characters as well as through the fairy tales. The details of the story bring alive the periods of time depicted. The author has researched her history well. The story is full of emotions: love, envy, lust, pride and revenge.

This is a page turner. The mystery surrounding Nell begins with the first chapter and lasts until the final one. This is highly recommended as an unforgettable read.

The Book

Atria Books / Simon & Schuster
April 6, 2009
Literary fiction / 1860 - present / Australia / England
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2009
© 2009