Cassandra has lost many of the important people in her life. Most recently she lost her grandmother, Nell, who raised her from the time her mother dropped her off when she was just a small girl. As an inheritance, Cassandra receives the deed to a house in England that she had no idea Nell owned and a book of old fairy tales written by the authoress, Eliza Makepeace. As curiosity gets the best of her, Cassandra gets on a plane to see what she can find out about this cottage on a cliff that she now owns.
Years earlier, Nell finds out that her mother and father are not her real parents and that she was discovered with a suitcase on a shipping dock in Australia when she was only four. Inside the suitcase lies her only clue, the book of fairy tales she later leaves for her granddaughter. In her sixties, Nell heads to England to try and learn who her birth parents are and discovers that she has ties to a great old house and the cliff cottage on its grounds. She heads back to Australia to pack up and make her England residence permanent, but before she can leave her granddaughter is dropped off at her door to live with her indefinitely and her plans to discover her past are halted.
Almost a hundred years before Cassandra inherits the cliff cottage, Eliza Makepeace finds herself alone in the slums of London after the death of her mother, father, and twin brother. She is rescued by her uncle who takes her to his great house to be his ward and Eliza quickly becomes friends with her sickly cousin, Rose. As they grow up together, Eliza tells Rose the stories that flourish in her mind to help ease her sorrow and sadness. With the rest of her family gone and an uncle who is aloof, Eliza finds that she will do anything for her beloved cousin. Anything at all.
In The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton weaves together the lives of these three different women who live in very different times. Shifting back and forth from each time period, Morton kept me sitting on the edge of my seat as I tried to figure out how exactly the women were connected. I fell in love with her characters from the start and read this 550ish page book in no time. If you love Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes, you will surely fall in love with Morton’s tales as well.