Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Forgotten Garden [sound recording] by Kate Morton

In 1913, a little girl is found at the docking station in Brisbane, Australia, her true identity a mystery. She is clutching a small white leather suitcase containing an exquisitely illustrated book of fairy tales.

Flash forward. The year is 2005. Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is now the owner of the child’s leather suitcase, which may hold the key to her grandmother's past. After her grandmother’s death, Cassandra unexpectedly finds she has been deeded a clift-top cottage at Blackhearst Manor, England. She seeks out the expertise of a gardener, a museum curator, an antiques dealer, and the most recent owner of Blackhearst for help uncovering her family secrets. What is hidden in the once beautiful garden created by Eliza Makepeace and Lady Rose Mountrachet of Blackhearst Manor?

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, performed on audio by Caroline Lee, is spellbinding—a magical tale within a fairy tale.  Morton alternates between viewpoints and time periods. She captures the authenticity of the Victorian era in every detail. The villainess in this story is chilling; the mood, eerie.

If you enjoy turn of the century stories with vivid characterization, this book is for you! The sound recording is over twenty hours, but well worth the listening time.

The fairy stories contained in The Forgotten Garden can stand alone. In fact, followers of the book are especially intrigued by Eliza Makepeace, known as The Authoress in the novel, and her forthtelling fairytales, such as “The Crone’s Eyes” and “The Golden Egg.”
Morton pays tribute to authors of children's books for their inspiration. She includes a fictionalized Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of the classic The Secret Garden, in her novel.

If you like The Forgotten Garden, check out Kimberley Freeman's novel Wildflower Hill with a sound recording also read by Caroline Lee. It's the story of a young woman’s whose life crisscrosses with her grandmother's when she inherits a sheep station in rural Australia. 

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