Hello again! I know it's been ages since my last post, but, to be fair, I have been without a pc and I have been on holiday. I'm back now, with a new book to write about! ''The Forgotten Garden'' by Kate Morton.
I read this book about 2 years ago, but I had lent it to my grandmother to read, so I had completely forgotten about it! But I saw it somewhere between all of her books when I arrived in England, so I thought: Why not write about it?? Here goes...!
The book is about a girl, Nell, who in 1913 was found abandoned on a ship bound to Australia, recalling only that a mysterious woman - the Authoress - had promised to look after her, but then vanished. In 1975, Nell travels back to England to discover the truth about her parents. Her search leads her to Blackhurst Manor in Cornwall, which was owned by the Mountrachet family. In 2005, the deceased (by then) Nell's granddaughter is informed that she has come into an unsuspected inheritance: Cliff Cottage, a cottage in the grounds of Blackhurst Manor which is believed by many to hold many of the secrets of the Mountrachet family. There Cassandra will finally be able to uncover the truth about her family, including how her grandmother was found alone as a little girl on the ship.
The book is written in a very straightforward way. At the beginning of each chapter, we can find the place and the year in which that particular chapter takes place. The main years around which the story revolves are the ones that you can find on the back of the actual book: 1913, 1975 and 2005 (or years close to that). There are some other years as well, but they are mentioned because they are important to understand what happened in later years. I think that the earliest year mentioned is 1900, so the story does go quite far back so that we can understand the whole sequence of the events. Other than the chapters that describe certain dates in certain places, there are also some other, different chapters. They are stories written by a character in the book, about whom I am not going to say anything else, lest I ruin the story for you.
Now, rating the book. I have to admit that I can't remember many things about the book, but there is one thing that I do remember and that is that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was the first book by Kate Morton that I read (even though her other book ''The House At Riverton'' was published before the ''Garden''). One of the things I enjoyed the most was Kate Morton's style of writing. The chapters aren't overly large, which is good, as it means that she doesn't drone on and on about things. I also found the story quite original. Yes, it was a novel which is about finding roots and uncovering family histories (of which there are many), but it is also different in its own way. So, I am going to give it a rating of 8/10. It could have been higher, but as I can't remember the book that well, I am not going to go overboard on my rating.
Now, for some facts about the author. Kate Morton was born in Australia and studied for a Licentiate in Speech and Drama at Trinity College London and later on, obtained a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Queensland in Australia. She has written two books to date, both mentioned in this post. ''The House At Riverton'' (also know as - a.k.a. - ''The Shifting Fog'') and ''The Forgotten Garden''.
She is currently working on her third novel, called ''The Distant Hours'', which will be published some time during 2010.
And as always, some URLs for anybody who would like some more information.
And as they say in England,