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The Secret Garden Hardcover – March 1, 2000
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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. (Ages 9 to 12) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Soothing and mellifluous, native Briton Bailey's voice proves an excellent instrument for polishing up a new edition of Burnett's story. Bratty and spoiled Mary Lennox is orphaned when her parents fall victim to a cholera outbreak in India. As a result, Mary becomes the ward of an uncle in England she has never met. As she hesitantly tries to carve a new life for herself at imposing and secluded Misselthwaite Manor, Mary befriends a high-spirited boy named Dickon and investigates a secret garden on the Manor grounds. She also discovers a sickly young cousin, Colin, who has been shut away in a hidden Manor room. Together Mary and Dickon help Colin blossom, and in the process Mary finds her identity and melts the heart of her emotionally distant uncle. Bailey makes fluid transitions between the voices and accents of various characters, from terse Mrs. Medlock and surly groundskeeper Ben to chipper housemaid Martha. And most enjoyably, she gives Mary a believably childlike voice. A brief biography of the author is included in an introduction. Ages 6-12.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
She is taken to England and is told to live with Mr. Archibald Craven, a hunchback who's wife's brother was Mary's father. Slowly, as she lives in such a deary and quiet house she gets to know Mr. Craven and for the first time learns how to trust and love and care for people. She lets Mr. Craven open up a little more and in return she learns to open her heart. She also meets Dickon-the boy who seems to talk to animals. She ponders the boy's ways as they are so different to hers. So much brighter and more lively Dickon is always full of warmth and enthusiasm. Together they find The Secret Garden which belonged to Mr. Craven's dead wife and build it back to life. Although the process is slow one day she discovers the whimpers that come somewhere far deep into the house at night and meets with Mr. Craven's son-Colin. Colin being just as disagreeable a child and self absorbed as Mary herself, although at first they fight a great deal and do not start off with a good start, they end up helping each other.
The book is a worthwhile read and a beautiful story.
This book awakens a childlike sense in all who love it. It is mysterious and exciting, and the writing is very easy to be drawn into. Although she is described as an ugly girl with a selfish temperament, it is natural to like Mary and to wish for the best for her. Therefore, when she gets excited about the garden, so do we as readers, and when she is enraptured by Dickon and his Magic, so are we.
Luckily, there are several good movie adaptations, so I recommend watching one after completing the novel to compare. It is remarkable how many remain true to the book, a testament to its perfection.