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The Forgotten Garden

Written by: Kate Morton
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
Length: 20 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, a maze, an aristocratic family, a love denied, a mystery - The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric, and a compulsive listen about the past, ghosts, family, and memories from best-selling author Kate Morton.

Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace Rutherford - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early 20th century - as well as a cliff-top cottage on the other side of the world, Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell, on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

©2008 Kate Morton (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing

What the critics say

"This debut page-turner...recounts the crumbling of a prominent British family as seen through the eyes of one of its servants....Morton triumphs with a riveting plot, a touching but tense love story and a haunting ending." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Forgotten Garden

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent from beginning to end

Caroline Lee always does an amazing job narrating Kate Morton's books. You really get swept away into the story. Of course, Kate's books are also amazingly written. So in depth you can't help but become emotionally invested in the characters. It's almost sad when the book comes to an end. I highly recommend this book and every Kate Morton book that Caroline Lee narrates.

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A wonderfully woven story!

A favorite book to read has become a favorite to listen to. Well done Authoress!

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Artfully written

As always the attention to detail and wonderful narration keep you intrigued until the end.

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No disappointments

I read this book about 10 years ago so I forgot a lot of the details. As usual Ms Morton has not let me down. I love how she builds the characters and keeps you guessing . The performance by Ms Lee was absolutely perfect . Definitely recommend it!

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Very descriptive!!

I enjoyed the many story lines, plots & sub-plots! Her characters are rich in personality. I will read more of her books :)

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Great read!

Absolutely loves this book! I read along to it as I also have a copy. Read when I couldn’t listen and listened when I couldn’t read. Caroline Lee did an amazing job and her voice is quite nice sounding. I did not want to put it down as I neared the end. Would recommend. Thanks audible!

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What a story!

Kate Morton must be a brilliant mind. The story has so many twists and turns and the depth of thought that each character has is deep. I did find it a little dark at times and had to take breaks, but overall an enthralling listen. #Audible1

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Unforgettable Garden

Loved it! Immersive experience. A favourite childhood book, The Secret Garden, achieving adulthood. Beutiful reading.

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Lovely

Beautifully written and the narrator has a wonderful voice. Became a little predictable about halfway through, but maybe that was the point - to know what the characters were trying to figure out. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story and found myself thinking about it a lot when I had to pause and get back to real life. Would definitely recommend. #indigoreview

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A Bitter Sweet Ending

I throughly enjoyed this book . Especially the lovely fairy tales. I was hoping for a happier ending for Eliza but was glad the Cassandra found love again

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • 2008-12-10

Enchanting, intriguing, mysterious, and beautiful

Honestly, I bought this by accident, adding it to my cart when I tried to click on the title, then checking out without noticing it. Best literary mistake I've ever made.

This is an enchanting story that takes place over three, even four, eras. At first it seems a little distracting, as each time you get drawn in to one story you shift to another, but soon you are caught in all three tales, for different reasons, and can't wait to get back to each to find a conclusion.

The tales themselves intertwine to tell one story, one novel, each being intriguing in their own right. With elements of historical, mystery, romance, generational, and personal journey genres, this story is as complex as it is developed. Each scene is well crafted, and the entire novel flows into one whole, rather than seeming episodic, as these types sometimes do.

The good characters are charming, the bad characters disturbingly villainous, each story is intriguing, the settings and historical research creep up on you to create a setting you feel a part of. You'll find yourself looking beyond the boundaries of the story, even, feeling you can see the world beyond what the author created. By the end, the story manages to be emotionally fulfilling while longingly agonizing.

And the narrator is exceptional, as well. Nice accents, accurate individual voices for each character, and a skilled narrative tone throughout. Definitely adds to the experience.

This is one of my favorites, even if I bought it by accident.

345 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • HNS_1205
  • 2010-02-23

Crockpot Mystery--Not For Microwave Readers

My first attempt at listening to this book failed because I was wanting a quick-paced, twist and turn "microwaved" mystery. It is not for those wanting instant gratification. If that is you, I would suggest not buying the book. However, on my second attempt, the book became just want I wanted. It is a slow, layered mystery that takes time to simmer and cook. I liked the different points of view and time periods because it added depth of understanding. I couldn't stop listening because I wanted to know the "why" as much as the characters themselves. It is a "darker" narrative, so if you want sunshine and roses, this book is not for you. If you are patient and willing to wait for characters to develop and grow and a mystery to be unraveled, then you should enjoy this book. I really found it refreshing and engaging. The narrator is top-notch as well.

230 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • avid reader
  • 2010-04-30

Hours of enjoyable, fun listening

I am the kind of person who likes to read literary, "paper" books (classics, Russian lit, lit criticism) and listen to more popular, "fun" audiobooks (mysteries, historical fiction). I love to listen to a long audiobook (Wilkie Collins, Ken Follet) while driving or cleaning. One of my favorite audiobooks is "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield, and "The Forgotten Garden" is almost as good. I agree with other reviewers that it's a bit predictable, but even so, it's a sweeping, engrossing, and fun book to listen to. If you loved "The Thirteenth Tale," you will probably love "The Forgotten Garden," and so for that reason, I give it 5 stars.

251 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 2010-07-26

Six stars if I could

I rate a book probably more for how it is written than for any of its other facets. I enjoy an interesting plot. I hope for well-developed characters and surprise endings. This book has it all and much, much more. On the surface, these are three stories beautifully woven into one. But there is much more. It is a story about the writing of a book of faerie tales that is a faerie tale itself. It is challenging to critique this book without giving away too much. I will just leave it to the lucky readers to discover the many wonderful aspects of this book for themselves. In short, of the last fifty books or so that I have read this year, this is one of the two very best hands down.

199 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna K. Ford
  • 2008-08-17

Another Winner from Kate Morton

If you have not read The Shifting Fog (The House at
Riverton) or this new one then you have two TREATS
in store. Kate Morton is a story teller extraordinaire and Caroline Lee adds the magic with
her superb narration. Dark family secrets,evil behavior,enthralling characters some of whom are damaged beyond repair are all uncovered as Nell struggles to find who she really is. If you like
storytelling as it used to be this one is for you!

108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 2010-01-16

Comfort food for my ears

This book is like a bowl of wonderful homemade vegetable soup on a cold winter day. A little predictable but warms you from head to toe!
The narration was excellent and easy on the ears. I enjoyed the musical notes between chapters.
The shift between periods and locations was handled nicely. There is enough subtle orientation so that you easily remember what was happening when you were last in this time and place.

84 people found this helpful

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  • liveon2legs
  • 2009-06-09

A pleasant suprise

I purchased this because it was on sale for $4 and had good reviews, I am glad I happened across it. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. The story was a pleasure to listen to. I don't always go for mystery novels, but this one had me guessing from the beginning.

The best part of the story for me was the framing of original fairy tales through out the novel. They were all a pleasure to read and added just enough fantasy into the mix.

If you are on the fence about this one, it is well worth your credit.

68 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 2010-08-27

Whew!

I feel like I just ran a marathon. I'm sort of on the fence about this one, or maybe I'm just on the fence about Morton's writing in general. These are very long, extremely detailed, thick and meaty labrynthian stories entangled within themselves. The writing is excellent-a feast of words to be enjoyed, and the stories themselves are interesting and deliciously enriched with the minutiae of life throughout the ages, and the narration is superb, but at the end of the day I'm a little surprised to discover that the basic gyst of the story was immersed in all that. I put this down halfway through with no intention of ever going back. Fortunately I did pick it back up and was happy to discover that I had finally hit the downward slope where mysteries were being solved and I had the desire to find everything out. But getting to that halfway point is seriously daunting, especially since I only recently finished another of Morton's works. It's good, but its an estrogen-fest, and I only recommend this to some serious devotees who dont mind a long book that doesnt necessarily hold your attention at all times. Oh, and the piano pieces seemed to come at the end of every paragraph! They were so bad I came to truly welcome the magical fairy tune that appeared in the latter half. And yes, there are fairy tales scattered throughout the story. Proceed at your own risk.

47 people found this helpful

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  • AudioAddict
  • 2013-03-26

Beautifully Performed Masterpiece!

I was skeptcial when I purchased this book. It's a classic, which is definitely not my favorite genre, and it's also very long. My fears ended with the first scene as I was transported to another time and place, when the story immediately grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I became so wrapped up in the characters and mysteries that I didn't want to stop listening. The truth which is revealed at the end is very emotional -- shocking, gut-wrenching, sad, heartwarming and beautiful.

I cannot say enough about the narrator, Carolyn Lee. Her voices and accents were perfect for the story, and her performace was emotional and flawless. I cannot say enough about The Forgotten Garden. It's wonderful.

46 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeffrey
  • 2009-02-28

Thoroughly engaging tale

It was hard to stop listening to this engaging tale of five generations of the Montrachet family, who have been separated by jealousy and anger. Told by beautiful Eliza, Nell and her grandaughter Cassandra, it's the unveiling of the mystery of how four year old Nell ends up alone on a ship from England to Australia, there to be brought up by strangers. Nell begins a new life in Australia but leaves her grandaughter, Cassandra, to piece back together the fascinating story of Nell's childhood and where they came from. An enchanting story well told.

56 people found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2019-10-22

Superbe découverte !

Très chouette découverte de cette auteure, premier livre que je découvre d'elle et waouw, j'ai adoré !! Comme le disent certains commentaires l'histoire prend son temps, mais personnellement je ne me suis pas du tout ennuyée! Les personnages et l'univers sont envoûtants... Très très chouette audio livre!

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  • Gringo
  • 2017-06-22

Beautiful storytelling

A beautiful story around several women of different times, of one family, with some magic and fairy tales, on the background of one woman's search for her true identity. I throughoutly enjoyed this long, quiet and lovely story.