Book Review – The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton


I seem to be picking books with the same theme, rich family and their dark secrets. This one too has the same ingredients. However I think I liked the previous book I read more – The Thirteenth Tale.

This book is about a old lady, Nell who is found, abandoned as a child. She tries to find who she really is. The story continues with her granddaughter, Cassandra who finally unravels her past.

The Forgotten Garden starts at a snail’s pace so mush so that I was about to abandon reading it. The story does not start till 120 pages or more.

I still went on with the book because its a mystery and well, I wanted to know what’s in it.

If you do not like fairy tales beware there is a lot of content around it in the book (especially in the initial pages) and some stories as well. I did like one of the stories though, about a caged bird.

Once the story really starts, it is gripping. It spans five generations of a family and three women tell their story in parts.

The story takes places in a picturesque location and I liked that. It’s in England, a big beautiful garden, a cottage on a cliff and beach below it with a cove.

The mystery is predictable. I had guessed it beforehand and think many can.

Nell’s Character is quite unbelievable and her behavior is illogical, apart form her, rest of the characters are well thought of.

A lot of long descriptions which are not related or interesting enough, slow down the story.

To sum up, it’s a good read if you can get past the first 120 or so pages.

Book Review : The Thirteenth Tale By Diane Setterfield

ImageIt’s a story about sisters. A dark tale about family secrets and loss. About a big estate in ruins, a weird and creepy family causing their own destruction.

A famous author, Ms. Vida Winter calls for an amateur biographer, Margaret Lea to write her biography. Until then the author’s life is a mystery. she makes up stories about her life when journalists interview her every year, each story a different one. Now she is dying and wants to tell her life story. During the story telling, Margaret and Vida Winter feel
connected through a common loss.

Margaret character is not very strong, I did not feel connected to her at all. She is constantly mourning about something which she could get over with. She is a loner, prefers books to people, nothing wrong with that. She just seems too sad for no good reason.

I liked the twist towards the end of the book, the most. It wasn’t something I expected.

There are some very good quotes in the book. For example:

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”

“All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes — characters even — caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are  still with you.”

The attempt to make  the story seem paranormal  annoyed me simply because most situations were not eerie enough, they were in fact stupid. Several times, Margaret sees her reflection in the mirror or a window glass and feels its her dead sister from the other world. Once is okay, not ten times.

The book goes on after the story is finished, it tells about what happens to the characters in the book. I didn’t quite like it. Yes, most authors won’t do that and you wouldn’t know what happens to a chararcterafter its role is played in the
story. Somehow I like it that way, it keeps the mystery. I was disinterested in all these details added after the actual story. This might be a good thing for other readers but for me, it did not work.

Overall the book was interesting, Vida Winter’s past – the crazy family , the sisters behaviour, the governess and the twist.

Dressed For The Drama

The Drama Of life

Dressed for the play of Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva, cycling away to their destination.

The legend of Kali standing on the chest of Shiva is very popular in India. Kali during a battle to end the evil, goes on a rampage, destroying everyone in her path. To stop the destruction, the gods ask Shiva for help. To pacify Goddess Kali, Shiva throws himself under her feet. When Kali steps upon her husband she realizes her mistake and stops.

To read more on this, go to the page.