Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rereading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

When Marry Lennox was sent to Misselthwait Manor to live with her uncle everybody said that she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.

I hadn't read The Secret Garden in a long time, so I really enjoyed revisiting it. It really is an enchanting children's classics. I recently got a nicer edition of it, the Penguin Threads edition. The Secret Garden is the story of Mary Lennox, a disagreeable child whose parents die in India of cholera and who is sent to live with her uncle. She gradually transforms into a bright young girl, and meets Dickon and Colin, two very different boys. She discovers the secret garden, which has been locked up for ten years, ever since Mrs. Craven died there (Mr. Craven is the owner of the house).

The Secret Garden definitely has an air of magic about it. Dickon is a local boy, Martha's sister, and he basically communicates with the animals; he has a wild moor pony that he's tamed, as well as a fox cub that he rescued, two squirrels, and a crow. I think for every child, there's a fascination with animals and particularly being able to communicate with them. I would so love to have a crow, fox, or squirrel. And of course, the garden itself is cloaked in mystery; a secret place where the children can play together.

Dickon might just be my favorite character. He's really gentle and kind, and really, who wouldn't want to have a way with animals like he does? He and Martha are two of the people who change Mary from a spoiled brat into a lovely child. I like Martha and Mary too.

The writing in The Secret Garden is matter-of-fact and easy to read. It is certainly not overwritten, and is really cheering at times (much like Little Women.) I'm definitely glad that I chose to reread it, and probably will again. I really love this one.

Read The Secret Garden:
  • if you like Frances Hodges Burnett
  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like children's classics (Mary Poppins, Anne of Green Gables, The Wind in the Willows, Black Beauty etc)
  • if you like books with gardens
  • if you like books set in Britain (Yorkshire specifically)
255 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

No comments:

Post a Comment