Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Lavinia Rookwood
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Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Post by Lavinia Rookwood » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:24 pm

Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Genre: Coming of age, Children's, Domestic Fiction (?)

Short Summary: Mary Lennox, a spoilt and sickly girl living in India loses her parents to a cholera outbreak and is sent to live with her Uncle Archibald Craven. However, her uncle has no use or interest in her, choosing to keep away from his home. The servants tend to Mary's needs but otherwise leave her to her own devices for the first time in her life. With little to do, she soon explores the wide gardens surrounding the manor. When she hears the tragic story behind Mrs. Craven's private garden and how it's been locked up, she makes it her mission to find it and bring it back to life. But what she discovers leads to life blooming in unexpected places.

Goodreads' summary:
When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary's only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. One day, with the help of two unexpected companions, she discovers a way in. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?

Thoughts: One of my favorites's as a child, I was glad to see that it was still an enjoyment to read. Dickon, one of the main characters you meet in the book is still probably one of my favorite characters. And Mary, Mary quite contrary is someone I can still see myself in to this day, both in her spoiled selfish, foot stamping moments of anger and the sheer imagination she can create around things. And one of the better things, especially in an age where making things darker and more gritty than their originals, is the sheer lightness this book contains. And yet it's never really icky or over the top. The children don't turn into little angels, they just find the joy and wonder in life.

Anything bad to say? Hmm, well it's a product of its times. A very good product, but there are some minor mentions when it comes to the Indian people that to a modern eye, is a bit wince-worthy. More tone deaf then anything nasty and brief enough to overlook. Beyond that, not really.
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