在一座歷時兩百多年的古老園林──「菡園」裡， 鬼魅般的糾纏著一個與海盜，唐山小妾，朱家先祖立譜歸宗與敗亡的毒誓。 到了二十世紀，到了七○年代歷經了台灣的政治變局、歷經了台灣新開展的工商業社會， 恢復這座園林的，是朱家的後世子孫──朱影紅，以作為女子激越的熱情與痴迷， 她挽救了「菡園」，也印證了那古老的家族毒誓……。
The Lost Garden is an eloquent portrait of the losses incurred as we struggle to hold on to our passions. The novel begins with the family of Zhu Yinghong, whose father, Zhu Zuyan, was imprisoned in the early days of Chiang Kai-shek's rule. Zhu Zuyan spends his days luxuriating in his Lotus Garden, which he builds according to his own desires. Forever under suspicion, he indulges as much as he can in circumscribed pleasures, though they drain the family fortune. Eventually the entire household is sold, including the Lotus Garden. The novel then swings to modern-day Taipei, where Zhu Yinghong falls for Lin Xigeng, a real estate tycoon and playboy. Their cat-and-mouse courtship builds against the extravagant banquets and decadent entertainments of Taipei's wealthy businessmen. Though the two ultimately marry, their high-styled romance dulls over time, leading to a dangerous, desperate quest to reclaim the enchantment of the Lotus Garden.