The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Published by: Penguin Classics
Published on: October 25, 2011
Page Count: 272
My Reading Format: Threads edition purchased at One More Page Books
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook
My Mini Review
The Secret Garden is the tale of growing up and becoming moral people. Both Mary Lennox and Colin are left to their own devices from birth. That their parents have the finances to spoil them rotten only makes matters worse. Through tragedy Mary leaves the Indian home she once terrorized and is taken to live with her much wealthier uncle. She is somewhat put in her place, but her spirit is not so easily broken. She breaks rules when it suits her moods and it is in this way that she finds the garden her uncle has set off limits to everyone. She is drawn to the garden and the thought of bringing it back to life. As her interests expand beyond herself, she finds a friend in Dickon, a child whose influence can only challenge Mary to become a better person. She becomes all consumed with gardening until a rainy day keeps her inside. It is then that she discovers sickly Colin. Their relationship with each other and with the garden are exactly what both children need to become good, generous adults.
This was my first time reading The Secret Garden. It was one of those classics that never made its way home with me from the library. During the discussion held at One More Page Books about The Heroine’s Bookshelf, this title stuck out. It just so happens that the beautiful Penguin Threads cover was on display right in my line of sight that convinced me to pick it up. I do regret not reading it as a child. I left the novel feeling as though I missed out on some of the magic because I am 40 and have children of my own who are nearing Mary and Colin’s age. Still, I very much enjoyed it and appreciated the voice of the narrator and that it is written in such a way that children and adults alike will find the story of these children delightful.