July 22, 2008

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton

I was eagerly awaiting this second novel from the Australian author of The Shifting Fog (or The House at Riverton for those in the UK and US) but I have to say that The Forgotten Garden was a little disapointing for me.

It's true, I did read it very quickly and as far as that goes it was an easy and quite entertaining read but overall I felt the plot was predictable and the characters and settings forced and a little unbelievable.

The story moves between three main time periods and locations, early 1900's in London and the Cornwall coast, the mid 1970's in these same locations and then present day Brisbane, Australia and London and Cornwall. We hear the story from the perspective of a few different characters as well - each a little disjointed I felt. Nell, a 21 year old girl and then an older woman - struggling with the news that she is not the biological child of the parents who raised her and Nell's grandaughter, Cassandra who continues the search for her grandmother's (and ultimately, her) true history and identity. Through Cassandra and Nell we hear from Rose and Eliza, cousins growing up in the early 1900's in England - two women intricately linked to Nell and Cassandra.

Although the story was interesting and engaging to a point I never really felt connected to any of these characters or their ultimate outcomes.

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