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Customer Reviews for

The Forgotten Garden

Average Rating 4.5
( 1773 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1030)

4 Star

(435)

3 Star

(179)

2 Star

(74)

1 Star

(55)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

81 out of 89 people found this review helpful.

Well-written, likeable characters and enjoyable read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an easy read, and yet gave me room to pause as I stopped to think. I like books that let me do that without pounding me into a pulp on the way. I suspect the book might appeal more to women then men and it would be a good choice of...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an easy read, and yet gave me room to pause as I stopped to think. I like books that let me do that without pounding me into a pulp on the way. I suspect the book might appeal more to women then men and it would be a good choice of several of the reading circles I know.

I appreciated the many issues raised in a gentle and non-judgemental fashion. Those with unresolved issues involving child abandonment, fostering, adoption, and similar issues might find the book uncomfortable but most likely not overwhelming. I would have read this book with my daughters, exploring the different facets of love of a child, some that hold tightly, some that let go.

I also appreciated that skillful weaving of the generations, a reminder that we impact each other with our choices.

My only regret: that Eliza's book of fairy tales isn't a real book.

Things I like knowing before I buy a book: No profanity that I noticed. Respectful story-specific reference to sex. Emotional issues dealt with tastefully and healthily.

I wil read more by this author.

posted by Aradanryl on February 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

29 out of 57 people found this review helpful.

I hope someday I can forget this book

That it took me a week to read this books is very telling. This was a hard book to read and I'll try to be very clear as to why.

First, the authoress ;) is very good in her craft in the sense that the writing itself is well done. And if that was all it took for me ...
That it took me a week to read this books is very telling. This was a hard book to read and I'll try to be very clear as to why.

First, the authoress ;) is very good in her craft in the sense that the writing itself is well done. And if that was all it took for me to enjoy a book she would have received five stars from me.

However, it takes more than a well written tale for me to fully enjoy the book. First I have to like the characters and let me say, most of the characters were not likeable. From Nell who squandered a gift, to her parents, and the cast of characters we found in England. They were all despicable people, with a very few exceptions, and more than that there was a level of stupidity beginning with Nell that was almost impossible to bear.

I also felt the story was purposely and needlessly drawn out. Several chapters before the end you have the whole "mystery" figured out so that its anti-climatic when it is finally revealed. I personally don't appreciate such manipulations. I would rather get through the book than draw it out an unnecessary 100 pages.

I could have done without the fairy tales, but if I'm honest I was so frustrated after the first 100 pages that there was little this book could have done to redeem itself. To me this was a tale about stupid people who made stupid and selfish choices and made everyone around them suffer for their stupidity and selfishness. If I want that kind of tale I'll go read the minutes from Congress.

posted by CeCeSG on October 8, 2010

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    recommend

    Really a 3 1/2 star book. Very engaging but I figured out the "twist" way before it was revealed and not sure why it took so long. Sometimes confusing as it goes between three time periods through out the book. A very unique story with a little suspense and heartfelt characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    DONT CARE

    I GET IT I REAALY DO BUT ITS JUST BORING

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If you like soppy feel good stories, this one is for you

    I was very disappointed in this book, it was so predictable. The story line was soppy and I did not identify or feel compassion for the characters. I pretty much forced myself to finish it. If you like a storyline that is chock full of heroine worship, you will love this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2012

    Ok".......

    Nice girlie novel.... Lite reading....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Decent, but Not Great.

    Although the story was interesting, I felt that it dragged on in parts and was predictable in some places. Also, it seemed like there were stories within the story and although it was intriguing at times, it got old and predictable. There was too much going on with the various characters; most characters in this story have some sort of drama or tragedy aside from the main story. Overall it was interesting and there were several parts where I didn't want to put it down so I'd say it is worth the read. If I could give this book 3.5 stars I would, but the rating system doesn't allow for it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Entertaining read

    Well-written with interesting characters and story line.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Very Interesting Read

    Very intriguing read. Unexpected twist and turns.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Okay

    Took too long to get to climax of plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    Okay

    I liked the mystery aspect of the novel but i found myself frequently going back to previous chapters to get the characters straight.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Pretty good

    I had heard a lot of people raving about this book so I decided to check it out. Maybe my expectations were too high because of that, but I just liked this book...didn't love it. It definitely had some great moments. I think what I struggled with the most was that I never felt connected with Cassandra, the main character. While I liked that it hopped around from generation to generation, I think that may have contributed to that issue. At this point I'm still on the fence about whether I'll check out another Kate Morton book.

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  • Posted July 24, 2012

    Good lazy read

    The book was fair...I expected more out of the plot but it seemed like it was mostly fluff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    readable

    aaa

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2011

    Order is confusing

    The story is fascinating; however, the continual jumping from the early 1900's to the 1970's to current day and back is confusing. I wish the story had better flow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    recommended, if you stay with it

    This was a very good story but I did not enjoy the writing style of jumping between several time periods and several main characters with every chapter. If you can not sit down for an extending reading time, it is hard to remember where you are. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had just been a seqential story. I will try another book by this author and hope it is not so frustrating.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    Great story line!

    I enjoyed the history and the mystical, magical aspects of the book. I wanted to keep reading to find out the truth.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    The Secret Garden, all grown up

    Echoing the children's classic, "The Secret Garden," (and even slyly referencing it), this book has a more convoluted plot and darker overtones. In the early 1900s, an engaging little girl is found abandoned on a ship sailing from England to Australia. Adopted by the harbormaster, Nell remembers only glimpses of her past. The plot centers on first her efforts, than those of her granddaughter, to ferret out her identity and to learn how she came to be alone on the ship. The book can be difficult to follow as it jumps among several different time periods. Some of the plot twist became clear to me far before the characters caught on. The the villains of the piece are one-dimensional and wholly evil, but the protagonists are more complex. There are some elements that are never quite explained and seem unnecessary (e.g. Nell's flaky and irresponsible daughter), but all in all, it holds together.

    One thing that irritated me, though, was the author's repeated tendency to use incomplete sentences without a subject.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Not the best

    I felt the story was too outlandish and too much effort was made to make it interesting. The author also fell victim to using the same figures of speech over and over again. Also some attempts to use uncommon words made the writing seem contrived and urbane. All in all I can only give it 3 stars.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    Get an editor!

    I stumbled through this otherwise lovely story because of the poor grammar, typos, and general sloppiness of the writing. Really! As an English teacher, I would not recommend this book because the sentences are so poorly structured at times, that the meaning is difficult to grasp. The numerous incomplete sentences seem to exist as half-edited sentences, as if the editor fell asleep mid-way through a <Delete> process.
    That being said, with appropriate editing this book would have been fantastic. The plot is appealing and the characters nicely drawn.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    Disappointed

    I eagerly looked forward to reading this book, as I had thought The House at Riverton by this author was very good. I was, alas, disappointed. There were too many characters with their own stories (Cassandra and her mother, Cassandra and her husband and child, Nell and Cassandra...and those were just the ones mainly in Australia!). About half way through the book I considered giving up, but I was determined to find out what happened to the characters I cared about. I also found the going back and forth from century and country to century and country a little confusing at times.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

    I lost interest halfway through the book. Found the character Nell's dramatic and sudden switch in personality unlikely. Yes, she found out she was abandoned as a child and whom she thought were her real parents, weren't. But she suddenly

    distances herself from her sisters, whom the author said she had adored. And from her father, whom she also adored. And her fiance as well! With no explanation to any of them (it's her secret), and suddenly and dramatically changes to an unhappy, lost person. No doubt she was upset and traumatized, but come on. Nobody completely changes their personality from the way they were their entire young life, to be someone completely different the rest of their life, and never talks to the people they love about why. I found this characterization unrealistic. However, the other characters were very realistic. AND, having said all that, the writing was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. And for that reason alone, I would try another of her books. Lovely writing style.

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