Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettTitle: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett (Website)
Genre: Classic, Middle Grade
Pages: 192
Publisher: David R Godine
Format: Hardcover
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Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks;

"It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together.... 'No wonder it is still,' Mary whispered. 'I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'"

As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin's sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden's portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. Summary from Goodreads

My parents gave me this book on my 10th birthday. In the 21 years I’ve had this book, this is the first time I’ve ever read it all the way through. I remember trying to read it a couple of times, but I never finished it because I hated to read so much when I was younger. Now that I enjoy reading, I decided it was high time I read it!

I knew the story of The Secret Garden because I’ve seen a couple of movies based on the book. I really enjoyed the movies and I think it took me so long to read the book because I remembered the movies so well.

I’m really glad I took the time to read The Secret Garden, even though it wasn’t really my first choice to read next. I enjoyed the book as much as I’ve enjoyed knowing the story. Now that I’ve read the book, I almost wish I would’ve read it a long time ago because I found it so much richer than its movies. But, then again, what book isn’t better when it’s compared to its movie (besides The Devil Wears Prada)?

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this story is its positivity. The last chapter is very profound.  Even though you’d miss the story, you could read the last chapter and understand the intent and message of the story. I think it’d do a lot of people good if they were to learn from the book’s message.

One of the few things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts–just mere thoughts–are as powerful as electric batteries–as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live….

Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. “Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t read The Secret Garden until now. If I had read this when I was 10 years old, I would’ve never realized the profoundness of those two paragraphs. I don’t even think I would’ve realized it if I had read the book five years ago.

three-starsthree-starsthree-stars

Comments

  1. Ashley says

    I love the Secret Garden! I haven’t read it forever, you make me want to read it again. I like the movies too. There is also a musical that is pretty good (but maybe I am biased because I was part of a production of it in high school, haha).

  2. Kimberly says

    I’ve never read it, but now I want to. Thanks for sharing those paragraphs, they are very profound. I am going to try and remember that today while I am nagging the kids to do their chores! :)

  3. Kayla says

    I read this as a kid and loved it! It’s always been one of my all time favorite stories… but I certainly don’t remember all the deeper messages. Maybe it’s time that I pull it out for a re-read… I certainly don’t have anything else going on! :)

  4. says

    This was one of my favorite books when I was in fourth or fifth grade–it fit somewhere between “Where the Red Fern Grows,” “The Wheel on the Schoolhouse,” and “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” in my list of favs as a ten-year-old.

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