The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden

Average Rating:
Rate this:
From the #1 internationally bestselling author of The House at Riverton , a novel that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through generations and across continents as two women try to uncover their family's secret past.

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 dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own. On her twenty-fi rst birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace 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. A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.
Publisher: Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9781416572060
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 18, 2020

RAR rec to start here w/Kate Morton

Jul 21, 2019

At first I was going to rate this 2 stars - after all, I did read all 550 pages of it, how much could I have hated it? - but further rumination led me to the dreaded half-star rating. This was a much-ado-about-nothing-but-overwrought-melodrama story, by an author with at-best pedestrian writing skills. The plot concerns an abandoned 3-year old who is saved at port in Australia where she just arrived from London. She's raised by the dock worker who discovered her and his wife. Her father reveals her adoption to her on her 21st birthday after an idyllic and well-loved childhood, and she (Nell) is never the same. The rest of the book concerns her own and subsequently her granddaughter's investigations into her family of origin, a gothic group of dysfunctional head cases in early 20th century England. This is the third book I've read in the last several years (all by British authors, oddly enough) wherein adoption is treated like some tragedy or abuse. As someone who has had adoption touch my life in many forms, I found damaged and un-whole Nell a ridiculous and unbelievable character. So, it was silly, overlong, and verging on offensive. All that and uncompellingly written too. Once again, I find myself scratching my head at all of the high ratings. (

Jun 18, 2019

checked out June 2019 Pretty sure I have read this novel before so sent it back

Mar 12, 2019

Not one of her best. Half way through I gave up and did a quick read to the last chapter as I figured out the ending. 300 pages would have made it a "couldn't put down" book, but 550 pages made it a chore to read. Might not read any more of her books.

Mar 09, 2019

A completely mesmerizing story that takes you on the journey of three women, separated by time, yet whose lives are entangled together. Once started, I found it very hard to put down to do anything else! Fair warning, even though I sort of figured out the ending, I still cried big ugly tears over the last couple chapters.

Dec 06, 2018

A well written novel connecting the lives of three women spanning different generations and time periods. At the center of this interwoven story lies the mystery of the Authoress waiting to be discovered... in some ways like the forgotten garden which draws them all together. A cozy read for a cold wintry evening.

Sep 11, 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Once you settle into the story it's very hard to put down. Would highly recommend Ms. Morton's books.

HCL_staff_reviews Jul 30, 2018

Loved this book. Bouncing around between 1913, 1975 and 2005 was no problem as each section was labeled and each had its main character. A tale about tales and about families, love and redemption. Hated to see it end. — Laura P., Information & Online Services

Jun 14, 2018

Three generations of women suffer the loss of their mothers while still children. The story focuses on the love that exists between mother and child, identity, and birthright. The magic of childhood runs through this story. The fairy tales written by "the authoress" are charming touches. They epitomize the grief and loneliness the characters experience and provide clues to the mystery, if you have your wits about you. The story is beautifully told, but a bit too long in my opinion. I even incurred a rare fine because I couldn't finish the story in time and I couldn't renew due to holds. Oh well. It was an entertaining read.

Feb 24, 2018

Trying not to give the story away I can only say that I was very surprised that the little girl's companion would leave her unsupervised on the ship after all the grief she went to in order for them to be together.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Jul 23, 2011

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
LoganLib_Ashlee May 22, 2017

I can easily say that The Forgotten Garden is in my top 5 favourite books of all time! I loved the fairytale tie in the the family mystery and saga that has fallen over generations of the family! A must read author!


Add a Quote
heatsmith Aug 10, 2017

“A girl expecting rescue never learns to save herself. Even with the means, she will find her courage wanting.”


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at ALCO

To Top