A woman on a quest to find out the truth about her family, a mysterious Victorian authoress, a book of dark fairytales and a long-hidden secret - The Forgotten Garden is another addictive and compulsively readable romantic mystery from Kate Morton, author of the international bestseller The Shifting Fog.
A lost child
On the eve of the first world war, a little girl is found abandoned on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman called the Authoress had promised to look after her - but the Authoress has disappeared without a trace.
A terrible secret
On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell O'Connor learns a secret that will change her life forever. Decades later, she embarks upon a search for the truth that leads her to the windswept Cornish coast and the strange and beautiful Blackhurst Manor, once owned by the aristocratic Mountrachet family.
A mysterious inheritance
On Nell's death, her grand-daughter, Cassandra, comes into an unexpected inheritance. Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold - secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales. It is here that Cassandra will finally uncover the truth about the family, and solve the century-old mystery of a little girl lost.
A captivating and atmospheric story of secrets, family and memory from the international bestselling author Kate Morton.
About the Author
Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels.
With just three novels published, Kate Morton has sold over 7 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours have all been number one bestsellers around the world. Each novel won the Australian Book Industry award for General Fiction Book of the Year.
A four-year-old girl abandoned aboard a ship touches off a century-long inquiry into her ancestry, in Morton's weighty, at times unwieldy, second novel (The House at Riverton, 2008).In 1913, Hugh, portmaster of Maryborough, Australia, discovers a child alone on a vessel newly arrived from England. The little girl cannot recall her name and has no identification, only a white suitcase containing some clothes and a book of fairy tales by Eliza Makepeace. Hugh and his wife, childless after several miscarriages, name the girl Nell and raise her as their own. At 21, she is engaged to be married and has no idea she is not their biological daughter. When Hugh confesses the truth, Nell's equilibrium is destroyed, but life and World War II intervene, and she doesn't explore her true origins until 1975, when she journeys to London. There she learns of Eliza's sickly cousin Rose, daughter of Lord Linus Mountrachet and his lowborn, tightly wound wife, Lady Adeline. Mountrachet's beloved sister Georgiana disgraced the family by running off to London to live in squalor with a sailor, who then abruptly disappeared. Eliza was their daughter, reclaimed by Linus after Georgiana's death and brought back to Blackhurst, the gloomy Mountrachet manor in Cornwall. Interviewing secretive locals at Blackhurst, now under renovation as a hotel, Nell traces her parentage to Rose and her husband, society portraitist Nathaniel Walker - except that their only daughter died at age four. Nell's quest is interrupted at this point, but after her death in 2005, her granddaughter Cassandra takes it up. Intricate, intersecting narratives, heavy-handed fairy-tale symbolism and a giant red herring suggesting possible incest create a thicket of clues as impenetrable and treacherous as Eliza's overgrown garden and the twisty maze on the Mountrachet estate.Murky, but the puzzle is pleasing and the long-delayed "reveal" is a genuine surprise. (Kirkus Reviews)