The Forgotten Garden is Kate Morton’s best-selling novel that launched her to stardom in the book world. I just now got around to reading it, and while it was good, I have to admit I found it a bit disappointing. Perhaps it’s because it’s been touted so much, but I thought it was more of a rainy day read.
The story jumps back and forth between the years 1900, 1975 and 2005 (or thereabouts). A little girl has been found on a dock in Australia, having disembarked from an ocean liner. She is alone and the year is 1913. Morton’s story unravels the mystery of who this little girl is, and how she came to be alone, half a world away from where she was born.
Having two Morton novels under my belt, I gather that her books are more about the mystery than the history. In fact, she doesn’t appear to research very much, and I suppose that is why I felt The Forgotten Garden could have been better. I also found it difficult to care about the characters. Mysteries, for me, tend to be that way. So, if you love mysteries, you will probably really enjoy this book. It’s an easy read and a fun way to while away an afternoon. Unfortunately, I pretty much guessed the ending beforehand, so there wasn’t much of an “aha” moment for me.
3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2008