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The Forgotten Garden

The quest to find one's true identity is a tired and true story, yet Kate Morton magnificently delivers the story of Nell. Nell was abandoned on a ship to Australia in 1913, and arrives alone with nothing but clothes and a volume of fairy tales. When she turns 21, the dockmaster who took her in tells her the truth and "with her shattered sense of self" she sets out to find who she is. Nell never achieves finding out who she is, but her granddaughter, Cassandra continues the quest. Interwoven through the novel are the accounts of Nell, Cassandra, Rose, and Eliza (Rose and Eliza relate to Nell's past - but I can't tell you how!!) When Nell finds out she's adopted, she says to the reader "His [Her adoptive father's] words had tossed the book that was her life into the air and the pages had been blown into disarray, could never be put back together to tell the same story." Morton's story is one big and very complex fairy tale, with no happy ending. Within the fairy tale is a mystery that keeps the reader engaged and speculating on the ending. The author gives the reader clues in small bits, and I could not, for the life of me, figure out what was going to happen. The ending leaves you satisfied but sad that Nell never got to find out who she really was. Rating: ★★★★★

This Is Where I Leave You

The Magicians