Wednesday, 3 June 2009
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I think I may have read this for last year’s challenge as well, and didn't really intend to read it again for this one, but it’s such a good book. The Secret Garden is one of my earliest memories of reading a book alone and is one of the reasons I fell in love with reading. It’s romantic without being overly soppy, positive and just a really good story.
Mary, a spoiled, neglected English child, living in India, loses her parents to typhoid and is returned to England to live with an uncle who neither knows nor really wants her. For the first time in her life, Mary is confronted with people who do not believe that life centres on her and she is forced to learn much about herself and the way in which she views the world. As the story continues, the reader watches her grow into a charming little girl with the extraordinary power to heal not only herself, but her cousin Colin as well, by simply realizing that sharing your pleasures with others is the key to happiness yourself. She shares her secret garden and in doing so increases her own pleasure in it. It’s a lovely, uplifting, story and is always a pleasant read. If only that summer could be stretched into childhood for everyone, we’d all be better off for it.
5 out of 5 for this one, whether you’re 5 or 50 or even 100.