Showing posts with label children's classics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children's classics. Show all posts

4 Feb 2020

Review - The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 Title: The Secret Garden

 Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett


  Mary Lennox is sent from an India as an orphan to live at
 Misselthwaite Manor. She arrives as a sour-faced,
 sickly and ill-tempered little madam but becomes friends with
 local lad Dickon and her poorly cousin Colin. In their
 restoration of a secret garden all their lives are changed for the better.

My Thoughts:

When, once finished,  you close a book with the thought: "I'll definitely read this to my children one day", that's a clear testament to the book's merits.

The Secret Garden is pure magic, an ultimate feel-good retreat, a novel that shows the healing power of nature and the world around us. Though generally labelled as a children's book, it is not only for children; it warmed my poor adult heart in ways that are impossible to describe.

"Mother says as th' two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way – or always to have it."

When Mary Lennox arrives to Misselthwaite Manor, she's a haughty, self-centered little girl. While before she was always surrounded with people who served her, at the manor she's left to her own devices to entertain herself throughout the day. Her uncle Craven is hardly ever at home, and Martha the maid has chores around the house therefore she cannot be with her all the time. 

When she ventures outside to the gardens she feels a change in herself that she cannot really grasp, and when Ben the gardener and Martha mention a garden that has been locked up for 10 years, she cannot help but dream about finding the key.

The Secret Garden has a history that has something to do with the soft crying of a child she hears on the corridors of the manor sometimes, and of course Mary has to go and investigate. 

Strong friendships are born in this book that bridge gaps in between classes. Martha's little brother Dickon is like a little Mowgli of the Yorkshire moors, he charms Mary very quickly with his gentle nature and ability to speak with the animals.  

"Where you tend a rose, my lad,
A thistle cannot grow."

Three children find a haven in this novel; a place where they can grow, heal and learn, and as they do, the reader does the same alongside them. Again, I say, it is a magical experience.