The Forgotten Garden is the fourth of Morton’s novels that I have picked up and it continued the tradition of a fast-paced novel that in this instance only took me one day to consume. The Forgotten Garden spans over one hundred years and intertwines several stories across this time, the first is on the verge on the first world war, a child is abandoned on a ship to Australia by whom, she cannot name. Australia, 1930, Nell learns her life up until then has been a lie and this starts a journey that picks up again decades later. Over 70 years later and Nell’s granddaughter Cassandra finishes the journey Nell started, unravelling the story of Nell’s past.
According to Goodreads this appears to be everyone’s favourite Morton novel. I have to admit it wasn’t quite mine, which is not to say I didn’t enjoy it immensely (I mean, I did read it in a day). The Forgotten Garden is very bit as fast-paced as her other novels but I did find that the characters were not quite as relatable as they had been in the fast and I didn’t quite find myself as attached to them as I normally would. The story is complex and layered with many different strands slowly coming together as you delve further into the pages.
A real highlight for me was the nods to the Secret Garden, another story with a beautiful hidden garden, similar to that of the garden this novel is named for. A society family, which is featured in an element of the novel, throws a great party with none of than Frances Hodgson Burnett in attendance. He shows quite an interest in this hidden garden behind the maze, a joke to suggest he then takes his inspiration for his book from the garden in this book. Obviously all fiction but a nice little laugh hidden within the pages.
Once again, this book is a great puzzle that leaves you trying to guess what the truth really is. Again, I failed at trying to do this – Morton is a true master. I enjoyed the creepy, sinister twist in this novel, something a little different to her usual story. I do highly recommend The Forgotten Garden and honestly any of Morton’s novels and am off to source The Distant Hours, the last of her novels I have not yer read. I give The Forgotten Garden three roses from said garden.