Cassandra’s grandmother, Nell, has passed away and left everything to her; not only her home and antique stall in Brisbane, but also a cottage on the English coast. Why would Nell have a home in England?, thinks Cassandra; and thus the plot for Kate Morton’s novel, The Forgotten Garden, is formed.
The story is told primarily from the perspective of three women in three time periods — Cassandra in 2005, Nell in 1975-76, and Eliza Makepeace in 1900-1913. It is apparent that Eliza’s narrative is linked to Cassandra’s and Nell’s in some way, but how? Ms Morton does a fantastic job of linking the narratives so the reader is able to put the pieces of the puzzle together themselves – not all at once, just gradually enough that you feel you must keep reading to find out more information.
The Forgotten Garden is not a short book – my paperback edition is 549 pages – but I found it quick and easy to read and extremely enjoyable. It’s a mystery, a love story, a tragedy, and in many ways a fairy tale; it’s a great novel to escape the present day, even if only for a little while.