Bookreview; The Forgotten Garden

Hi there, this is my first book review since high school, so excuse me for being a bit rusty.

I was given this book as a birthday-gift this year from one of my best friends. She said that when she saw it she was absolutely sure that it was perfect for me. At first I thought it was a reprint of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which I have not yet read, I’ve just seen the movie, once.

I got very intrigued by the covers text on the backside, but when I opened it and saw the small printed text with the thickness of the book I at first thought;

” I will never be able to get through this book.”

However, it was a very thoughtful gift and I decided that I would read it and so I did, in 1 ½ day might I add (Yes I read through the night too, I do that.)

The Forgotten Garden starts off with an abandoned child on a boat in Australia, back in 1913, and through the book we get bits and clues as to why this child was abandoned. The story soon jumps to modern day where we get introduced to Cassandra, whose Grandmother has just passed away. Cassandra is going through her Grandmothers belongings when she finds a book that she recognized from when she was young, she only read it once, and in secret since she wasn’t supposed to be in the room where it was placed. The book is a collection of fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace, an author who mysteriously disappeared after the book was printed.

Cassandra inherits something very odd from her Grandmother, a cottage in Cornwall, placed on a big estate, and according to the locals, it comes with a lot of dark secrets tied to the noble family that once lived there.

This book jumps between old and modern time, sometimes it is hard to keep it up and remember where you are, however, Kate Morton is describing each setting so well that you can picture it before your eyes. Especially whenever she describes the garden and the cottage, you just want to get in there and feel the grass under your bare feet and the soft sunlight through the trees. Kate has cleverly added in some of the fairy tales that are Eliza Makepiece’s works because they make important plot-points, and as a fairy tale lover, I can just say that I love it!

Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down, there were times that I was genuinely sad and just wanted to get through to be sure of a happy ending, and there were times when I could feel the love between the pages, and I wanted to solve the mysteries along with the characters.

This book was quite different from everything I’ve read before, it was also a very different style of writing that I am not used to, but I liked it and I will definitely go to the library and get more of Mortons books, and as the nerd I am, I will probably buy them too eventually.

If I would have to pick out a favourite character it would have to be Eliza because when you read about her life, everything she goes through and her personality, especially when she is still a child, you just can’t help but love her. However,I have a soft spot for tragic characters too, so Rose will have to share the spot with Eliza, and when you read the book you will see why.

I could go on and on as to why I like or dislike each character in this book, but I don’t want to rob you of the experience, but I will tell you this; There are some characters that are downright evil, some are borderline creepy and one or two that you just want to smack. And this is great. They are all believable characters, and their behaviour portraits how the old times were very well , I think.

Critics have called it ”A Fairytale for Grownups” and I fully agree, although I am not saying that younger people, people in their late teens couldn’t enjoy it. Overall, it is a great book that I will read again and again.

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