An Adult Fairy Tale

October 11, 2013 | Erin

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The Forgotten GardenKate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden, is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys family sagas. It uncovers ancient secrets as well as mysteries surrounding character’s identities, with the magical feel of a fairy tale mixed in. This book is told through different characters as it flashes back and forth between the different generations, all intersecting to culminate in a surprising reveal.

In 1913, a four-year-old girl is discovered alone on a dock in Brisbane, Australia. Her only possession is a white suitcase containing a book of fairy tales. The dockmaster and his wife take the girl in and raise her as their own. On her twenty-first birthday, Nell is told the truth of how she was found. This revelation shocks her and shatters her identity and her relationships with those around her. Nell embarks on a lifelong journey to try and find her birth parents and her history. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and Nell is never able to uncover the truth.

In 2005, on Nell’s deathbed, she passes the mystery on to her granddaughter Cassandra. Cassandra’s investigation into her grandmother’s past leads her all the way to Cornwall, England, to a gothic manor, a cliffside cottage and an overgrown garden enclosed by brick walls. As Cassandra interviews locals and reads through Nell’s notebook, she discovers that people in the village each hold clues, which together reveal her grandmother’s past.