The Forgotten Garden

“The maiden of the cottage sat still and silent for a long time. Then she nodded slowly. ‘To spare the Princess and to spare the kingdom, I will relinquish the Golden Egg.” (The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton)

The Forgotten Garden is a long, winding family mystery filled with tragedy and passion – an absolutely luxurious book to sink into on a vacation. It switches between five or six different times and perspectives, which add an extra layer of richness to the tale.

One of my favorite narrative tricks is to include a story that a character has written, or to reference a made-up book, within the larger framework of the book. Some examples are the Ink Heart Trilogy, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (If you want a fun and interesting challenge, try your hand at matching fictional books with their real authors at Sporcle). In the case of this book, the fairy tales of Eliza Makepeace add a welcome sense of fantasy and magic to the otherwise realistic story line.

Beverage: Something nice and rich, like a hot chocolate or a particularly creamy cup of coffee. Although I usually like to drink whatever the characters sip, tea just seems a little thin for this book.

Reminds me of… Dear American Airlines, which has an interesting literary reference to A Streetcar Named Desire, paralleling the reference in The Forgotten Garden to The Secret Garden.

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