Book Review: The Forgotten Garden

By Kate Morton.
Like The House at Riverton, this novel’s twists at the end aren’t too surprising. But like Riverton, this book isn’t read for the twists or surprises…it’s read for the complexity of the characters and how different lives intertwine.
I find it interesting that two of this author’s works focus on lost family histories. The marketing talks about secrets, and there are plenty of secrets in this. But that’s not the real point behind this exploration. It’s about reclaiming what was lost to different generations by those secrets.
Lives, even my own, are impacted when family members decide to not discuss some event or element of their histories. Generations are changed by those choices. It seems like it’s for the greater good but in the end, it leaves people with less. Even when they don’t know what’s missing, they know something isn’t there.
The author gives us a very satisfying ending by providing answers for the quest of her characters. In this case, two generations are required to unearth the fullness of their own histories. Really a very well told story that I enjoyed.
The only flaw was the number of point of view characters. In combination with the time shifts, it made the opening section (about 100 pages) more difficult to follow at times. Stick with it and you’ll be rewarded.
Want to read more fiction like this? Try Message Stick, a novel of generations lost and found in unlikely places.
4 stars!

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