Book Review of The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden
The Forgotten Garden
Author: Kate Morton
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
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I was attracted to this book because it seemed to promise a fairy tale vibe, which is definitely the kind of vibe I like to read. From the synopsis, I didn't think it could go wrong: a young girl abandoned on a dock in Australia with only a book of fairy tales as a clue to her true identity.

My expectations were too high, because I just didn't dig it. I wanted more fairy tales (there were only three told in entirety, with the rest referred to by other characters - only making me wish I were reading those fairy tales instead of this book.) "The Forgotten Garden" also suffered from the multiple narratives and time-jumping. There were too many characters in all three timelines: the timeline of the lost girl trying to find the key to her past, the timeline of her granddaughter trying to finish putting together the mystery, and the earliest timeline of the authoress of the book of fairytales. I had trouble keeping track of what side characters went with which storyline (because they were so insignificant that their names and personalities didn't matter to me), not to mention that I felt like I was constantly being ripped out of one setting and plopped into another with flawed integration. Also, I felt that the author spent too much time delving into the psychoses of other characters that just didn't matter to the central plot of the book (which was "WTF is this little girl doing on this dock and where'd she come from anyway?")

It's overlong and it seemed as though the author was just a little too impressed with herself for masterminding this whole thing. That being said, I did knock out the final 300 pages in one sitting on my sick bed one afternoon. But that was only because I couldn't reach another book. Yes, it was engaging enough to keep me reading. But no, it wasn't really worth my time.