The Forgotten Garden is by Kate Morton, an author whose novels I have previously read. Because I am familiar with her work, this lead to the plot feeling somewhat predictable. However, it is still a great story. The novel explores how family, specially mothers, shape identity throughout generations of a family. Female characters are much more predominant, with male characters hardly making much more than a brief appearance. These female characters are complex and intriguing.
The story begins when four year old Nell is discovered on an Australian boat dock in 1913, leading to her 1975 search across the globe for her biological family. After Nell’s death in 2005, her grand daughter resumes the search, finally solving the mystery of her grandmother’s identity. Along the way, numerous family secrets are unlocked, leading to more questions. Who is the Authoress, where did she go, and why was a little girl left alone on a ship bound for Australia? Finally, all questions are answered, and you might have been surprised by these answers if you haven’t read any of Morton’s other novels.
Even though I might’ve seen what was coming in The Forgotten Garden, I’ll still continue to seek out Morton’s work. For me, her characters are fascinating and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know each of them. Her newest book, The Lake House, looks like a good read as well and I hope to get my hands on it soon.