Throwback Thursday | The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Published: 1910
Genre: Classic fiction, historical fiction
ISBN: 9780879236496
Age Range: 10+
Rating: 4/5

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.

If you have not read this book, you should. Or watch the movie… just do something to familiarize yourself with this story. There are many reasons why you should do this:

1. There are references made to this story in the smallest of ways that you won’t ever understand until you read it

2. It’ll make you feel better about your life, what you have and who you are.

3. Your children, children’s children and children’s children’s children will have to read it so you might as well.

As you can tell by the date, this novel has been around forever, I almost don’t feel like it is fair to review it. There are all different takes and criticisms about the story line, characters and even the illustrations (if you have an illustrated copy). I would recommend an illustrated copy for a younger child just to take some of the pressure off for them.

Some people see this story as having ghosts, religious content, stereotypes and even racism. I warn you, all of this is true in a way. Keep in mind, it was written in 1910!!! All of these things were normal, this is how people wrote, felt and believed. You may not see the references made to ghosts, that is okay, it is a personal take on the story. I beg you all though, PLEASE, PLEASE give this book a read.

I know, everyone is saying “but I really don’t like classics”, I didn’t like classic either but this one I loved. You get so caught up in their lives and wanting to make sure everyone is going to be okay, wanting to know about the garden and to believe the effects of true, positive thinking. This book will stay with you forever.

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