Review: De vergeten tuin, Kate Morton

De vergeten tuin Kate Morton cover
A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913. She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book --- a beautiful volume of fairy tales. She is taken in by the dock master and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-first birthday they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and with very little to go on, "Nell" sets out on a journey to England to try to trace her story, to find her real identity. Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled. At Cliff Cottage, on the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, Cassandra discovers the forgotten garden of the book's title and is able to unlock the secrets of the beautiful book of fairy tales.

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.

I read this book for the second time and it is still as mesmerizing as it was the first time. This book is one big warm blanket holding you captive till the end.
I love the ease with which the author binds four generations of people together building up a story of love and loss. Each of the woman have their own fight, their own story but eventually their lives come together and all the mysteries surrounding them are solved. The time line in the story is going back and forth but it is not at all disturbing. Chapters answer questions from previous chapters or give new hints for further investigations. Though it is possible to guess the outcome of this book halfway I think it is still a surprising outcome and you will not stop reading because you want to know the how and why.
This book is mainly about the woman in the family. They are the ones making the decisions. The man are there and they play their part but they are obviously not important in the outcome. All the woman are very strong willed making their choices and the steps they take throughout their life are believable.
The story touches several moral questions about childbirth, adoption and growing up without mothers. I do feel the author found a way to write about these subjects that makes you consider the choices people make and why without judging any of the decisions.
Definitely a book I can read again in a few years when I forgot most of the details.
Some of the quotes I liked in this book

“You must learn to know the difference between tales and the truth, my Liza, she would say. Fairy tales have a habit of ending too soon. They never show what happens afterwards when the prince and princess ride off the page.”

“Thinking of nothing. Trying to think of nothing. Thinking of everything.”

“A way of looking at you that told you she was listening, that she understood all you were saying, and all you weren't.”

De vergeten tuin
Author: Kate Morton
Publisher: De Boekerij
ISBN-10: 902255645X
ISBN-13: 9789022556450
Pages: 512
Format: Paperback
Original title: The Forgotten Garden
De Boekerij: eBook | Paperback

4 star review
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3 reacties

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19 March, 2013 delete

The Forgotten Garden is another one of my favourites! Have you read any of Kate Morton's other novels? I have read this one and also The House at Riverton. The Distant Hours is currently sitting on my "currently reading" shelf :)

19 March, 2013 delete

I read the House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper too. I have got the Distant Hours but have not found time to read it yet.

25 March, 2013 delete

Im slowly making my way through Distant Hours. I might read Secret Keeper too. For some reason I am not enjoying Distant Hours as much.