The Forgotten Garden, the 1900s and Cornwall.

Nell’s life changes on her 21st birthday when her supposed father reveals the truth. Found abandoned at an Australian quay with nothing but a small suitcase, he takes her home to be taken care of until her family comes for her, but no one does, and so he and his wife decide to raise 4 year-old Nell as their own. Shocked & now with a suitcase containing fragments of her past, Nell shuns everything and everyone & embarks on a journey to find out her real identity. But there was much more behind her story than she imagined, a dark mystery involving a woman named Eliza known as The Authoress, which was hindering Nell from finding out who her parents were. In the meantime she marries the wrong person, becomes a reluctant mother & a downright cynical. She spends years trying to solve the mystery, & just when she starts seeing some light, her estranged daughter comes & asks her to temporarily take care of Cassandra (Nell’s grandchild). Cassandra’s mother never returns & Nell puts solving the mystery aside & concentrates on raising her granddaughter. Through the years they become close, Nell being Cassandra’s rock during a tragic life-changing event, but not close enough for Nell to tell her about her past. That is, until she dies. Cassandra inherits the suitcase, a cottage in Cornwall and soon she finds out, the mystery. Can Cassandra solve it? She feels she owes it to her grandmother and so she travels to Cornwall. There was something strange about the cottage but what made it intriguing was the discovery of a hidden garden, locked and forgotten for many years… Most of the book was inspired by Morton’s personal life, her grandmother learned she was adopted on her 21st birthday and only told her three daughters about it when they grew up. I like Morton’s grown-up fairy tale style. Time-travelling, this one going back to the 1900s with their gothic vibes, & of course some garden magic similar to The Secret Garden. The plot, the great descriptions (which prove that she did some very good research, including medical) and reading about idyllic Cornwall made this book of 645 pages with small text still worthwhile.

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