29 August 2008


When her grandmother dies in 2005 Cassandra unexpectedly inherits a cottage on the wild Cornish coast. In visiting England to see her inheritance Cassandra is retracing a journey her grandmother took thirty years earlier. Then Nell O'Connor was in search of the truth about herself.

You can read much more of the story on the blurb on the back of the book and also on Kate Morton's own site. If you take up the book for discussion with your book group, then Kate has even kindly supplied questions.

The book has an interesting structure: written in 3 time frames, the first and last separated by over 100 years, and also through a couple of fairy stories written by one of the characters of the book.

And it is a mystery, and there is a murder (just in case people try to tell you otherwise). But just like Kate Morton's earlier book, THE SHIFTING FOG (aka THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON) THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN is not conventional crime fiction. For me it was evocative of books I read 40 years ago- authors like Victoria Holt, Susan Howatch and Antonia Fraser. It's a mystery in the sense that many of Charles Dicken's book were mysteries. It's an intriguing story, with characters with plenty of flesh on them.

Kate Morton is a young Australian author living in Queensland. Her books are published in 29 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards, and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008. Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, has been a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008.

Very enjoyable. My rating 4.4


Wendy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog with this link...do you know when this will be released in the US? I'd love to read more by Morton...I really like her style...and yes, I think she writes more toward the Gothic end of the fiction scale.

Cathy said...

Another book we've read in common (and enjoyed). You mentioned something in your review that I didn't in mine: the fact that Morton's books are so very evocative of the "Gothic" novels I read when I was a teenager: Holt, Eden, etc. The difference with Morton is that there's a lot more meat on the bone. I really enjoy her books.

Kerrie said...

Cathy, where did you get your copy from? It may be of interest to Wendy. We really do share reading DNA don't we?

Wendy said...

*nods* If I could find a copy here, I'd love to read it :)

Reading DNA - yes!

Cathy said...

Alas, my copy has already flown the coop, or I'd send it to you, Wendy. One of my buddies at Paperback Swap is a fellow Anglophile, and we pay attention to each other's wish lists. We swapped The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden. I don't know where she found TFG. My copy of TFG went along with 4 other books to a lady in Texas. I think the Texan must share some reading DNA with us as well!

Wendy said...

Oh goodness, I didn't expect you to send me your copy! I'll keep my eyes out for its release in the US...I'm sure it will happen one of these days (and it is not as though I do not have enough on my stacks to read right now!)


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