Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
No. of Pages: 261
Genre: Classics, Children
“Mary Lennox doesn’t want to move to England to live with her uncle, but she has no choice. At first she hates her uncle’s cold house, the gardens and moors that surround it and the servants with their funny way of talking. And at night she hears a child crying, but the servants insist it’s only the wind. Curious in spite of herself, Mary wanders the house and gardens and discovers that both are full of secrets.”
Thoughts: The Secret Garden is a wonderful reminder of the healing power of nature, laughter, and love. It is an affirmation of the existence of magic as well as simply a beautiful story. The lessons told within are simple and yet profound and appropriate for everyone. This is anything but a children’s story.
The Secret Garden is one of those novels I read as a child but did not remember in its entirety. In fact, while I could recall the beginning of the story quite well, I could not dredge up any memories about how it ends. Knowing my younger self, this is indicative of the fact that I must not have enjoyed the story as much as others have. Flash forward thirty years, and my experience of The Secret Garden is much different this time around. What did not resonate with me as a child definitely hit home as an adult flirting with middle age.
There is something about Mary’s and Colin’s transformation that is soothing to the soul. The remedy to their ailments is so simple and yet so profound. Today’s society has lost its connection to nature and to a simpler lifestyle, but the benefits of such cannot be denied. The pleasures of life are numerous, but we have to take the time to notice them. Happiness truly is as simple as good friends, good food, and fresh air.
If you have not had the opportunity to read The Secret Garden as a child, all is not lost. It is one of those novels that loses nothing over time. In fact, as our lives become more complicated and stressful as we get older, The Secret Garden becomes more than a children’s novel but rather a cue to take a step back and remember the uncomplicated truths which make childhood so special. It opens the reader’s eyes to the magic that exists all around us all the time.
Acknowledgements: Mine. All mine.
This would be amazing on audio. Being able to hear the Yorkshire dialect would make it worthwhile!
I didn't read this as a child, but did so recently (November 2011) as part of my reading challenge.
It was also the first audio book I have listened to, and I am so glad I chose that option. I would never have been able to "hear" the Yorkshire in my own head as I read if I hadn't chosen the audio book. It really added to the atmosphere.
I never read A Little Princess. I gave it to Holly to see if she would be interested in reading it. I'll be curious to see if she loves it or even understands it.
My third grade teacher read this one aloud to us in class. It was one of my favorites growing up. That and A Little Princess. 🙂
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I have never read Alice in Wonderland, so I can't compare the two. It is written for a young person but isn't too terribly demeaning or childish. It was something I noticed but not something that bothered me overmuch.
Was there a terrible movie? I'm glad I missed it then. It is well worth reading this as an adult.
I did not read this as a child but have always wanted to. Is it written for a young person, like Alice in Wonderland? I had a terrible time with that one.
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I haven't read this since I was a little kid but I did watch the rather terrible movie…
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I'm so glad it was not just me in forgetting the ending of the story. I think this is one I could only properly appreciate as an adult.
I know I read this when I was younger (although I think I also remember the beginning and not the end). I'd like to revisit it.
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I don't remember it from my childhood, so I am really glad I read it again. Actually, I think I have a better appreciation for its magic as an adult than I ever did as a child. Go figure.
I don't think I did read this as a child (which kind of astounds me actually) so I think I need to discover its magic.