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The Forgotten Garden    by Kate Morton Amazon.com order for
Forgotten Garden
by Kate Morton
Order:  USA  Can
Washington Square, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In 1913, a four year-old child is abandoned on a ship bound for Australia. She has very little with her, just a tiny suitcase filled with a few clothes - and a beautiful volume of fairy tales.

In Brisbane, the harbormaster and his wife take her in and raise her. At twenty-one, when Nell is told of her background, she feels as though the rug has been pulled out from under her feet.

Clues to her identity lead to the coast of Cornwall, England, which is apparently where her family originated. Though Nell does not find her way there, her granddaughter Cassandra discovers a gracious mansion as well as a caretaker's cottage.

Years pass by as the reader becomes engrossed in Nell's and Cassandra's stories. The hidden garden behind the cottage holds a secret that needs to be found - it might reveal why Nell was left on her own at such a tender age.

The Forgotten Garden is a satisfyingly long book; each page can be relished for glorious descriptions that place the reader in the action. The characters become old friends before many pages and I hated to say goodbye to them after bringing them into my life.

The reader meets three generations each of whom has a story to tell, all relating to that tiny child on board that ship. The surprising secret is revealed all too soon at the end. Kate Morton is also the author of The House of Riverton as well as The Distant Hours, soon to be released.

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