Read The Forgotten Garden Online

Authors: Kate Morton

Tags: #England, #Australia, #Abandoned children - Australia, #Fiction, #British, #Family Life, #Cornwall (County), #Abandoned children, #english, #Inheritance and succession, #Haunting, #Grandmothers, #Country homes - England - Cornwall (County), #Country homes, #Domestic fiction, #Literary, #Large type books, #English - Australia

The Forgotten Garden

Praise for The Shifting Fog

‘A brilliant Australian debut . . . a rich historical setting with a powerful emotional drama—and a gripping mystery . . . Full of lovely writing, grand houses, snobbery, cruelty and passion . . . utterly addictive.’

The Australian Women’s Weekly

‘This compelling debut is both an atmospheric murder mystery and an absorbing family saga that beautifully evokes another era…The Shifting Fog is an enthralling tale about the extremes people will go to for love and in the name of duty.’

Notebook Magazine

‘First time author Kate Morton . . . has skilfully and intelligently created a novel that is, indeed, as the publicity has it, “compulsively readable”.’

Australian Book Review

‘A stunning must read story that’s set for stardom.’

Woman’s Day

‘This is one of those rare books you can immerse yourself in, sharing the joys and heartaches of the characters and willing them to find happiness.’

Sunshine Coast Daily

‘. . . full of secrets, mystery and suspense . . . [the past is recalled] with such alluring detail you get a sense of stepping back in time, and feeling the heartache and thrills of love.’

New Idea

‘. . . a real page turner . . . the story has it all. Romance and tragedy, fidelity and devotion, heartbreak and crime.’

Wairarapa Times Age

‘. . . rich historical fiction with plenty of period charm.’

Bookseller and Publisher

‘Morton’s feel for her setting and the period is highly accomplished: it’s a warm and lovely place to escape to.’

Sunday Telegraph

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Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland.

She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland.

Kate lives with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. Her first novel, The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, was a number one bestseller in 2007.

You can find more information about Kate and her books at

www.katemorton.com.

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First published in 2008

Copyright © Kate Morton 2008

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. The Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows a maximum of one chapter or 10 per cent of this book, whichever is the greater, to be photocopied by any educational institution for its educational purposes provided that the educational institution (or body that administers it) has given a remuneration notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under the Act.

Allen & Unwin

83 Alexander Street

Crows Nest NSW 2065

Australia

Phone:

(61 2) 8425 0100

Fax:

(61 2) 9906 2218

Emai
l: [email protected]

We
b: www.allenandunwin.com

National Library of Australia

Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

Morton, Kate, 1976-

The forgotten garden

ISBN 978 1 74114 998 2 (pbk.)

A823.4

Map by Ian Faulkner

Internal design by Nada Backovic Designs

Set in 11.5/14.25 pt Minion Pro by Bookhouse, Sydney Printed and bound in Australia by Griffin Press 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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F o r O l i v e r a n d L o u i s

More precious than all the spun gold

in Fairyland

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N

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‘But why must I bring back three strands of the Fairy Queen’s hair?’

spoke the young prince to the crone. ‘Why no other number, why not two or four?’

The crone leaned forward but did not halt her spinning. ‘There is no other number, my child. Three is the number of time, for do we not speak of past, present and future? Three is the number of family, for do we not speak of mother, father and child? Three is the number of fairy, for do we not seek them between oak, ash and thorn?’

The young prince nodded, for the wise crone spoke the truth.

‘Thus must I have three strands, to weave my magic plait.’

— f r o m ‘ T h e Fa i r y P l a i t ’ b y E l i z a M a k e p e a c e Bh1449M-PressProofs2.indd xi

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PA RT • O N E

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1

London, 1913

London, England, 1913

It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told. The lady had said to wait, it wasn’t safe yet, they had to be as quiet as larder mice. It was a game, the little girl knew, just like hide and seek.

From behind the wooden barrels the little girl listened. Made a picture in her mind the way Papa had taught her. Men, near and far, sailors she supposed, shouted to one another. Rough, loud voices, full of the sea and its salt. In the distance: bloated ships’ horns, tin whistles, splashing oars; and far above, grey gulls cawing, wings flattened to absorb the ripening sunlight.

The lady would be back, she’d said so, but the little girl hoped it would be soon. She’d been waiting a long time, so long that the sun had drifted across the sky and was now warming her knees through her new dress. She listened for the lady’s skirts, swishing against the wooden deck. Her heels clipping, hurrying, always hurrying, in a way the girl’s own mamma never did. The little girl wondered, in the vague, unconcerned manner of much-loved children, where Mamma was.

When she would be coming. And she wondered about the lady. She knew who she was, she’d heard Grandmamma talking about her. The lady was called the Authoress and she lived in the little cottage on the far side of the estate, beyond the maze. The little girl wasn’t supposed to know. She had been forbidden from playing in the bramble maze.

Mamma and Grandmamma had told her it was dangerous to go near the cliff. But sometimes, when no one was looking, the little girl liked to do forbidden things.

3

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K a t e M o r t o n

Dust motes, hundreds of them, danced in the sliver of sunlight that had appeared between two barrels. The little girl smiled and the lady, the cliff, the maze, Mamma, left her thoughts. She held out a finger, tried to catch a speck upon it. Laughed at the way the motes came so close before skirting away.

The noises beyond her hiding spot were changing now. The little girl could hear the hubbub of movement, voices laced with excitement.

She leaned into the veil of light and pressed her face against the cool wood of the barrels. With one eye she looked upon the decks.

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