After the death of parents, ten-year-old Mary Lennox is sent from India to live with a distant relative at Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire Moors. Left alone to her own devices, Mary stumbles across a secret garden that has also been left to its own devices. But it’s not the garden that holds all the secrets, but rather the house that is now Mary’s home because at night she hears the sounds of weeping even when the master of the house is gone.
It takes a while for this book to get started and I would have abandoned it at the fifty page mark had the book not been on my TBR Challenge list. As I’m really glad that I did not end up abandoning this book because I would have missed out on a wonderful book that I already missed out on as a child.
I think part of the problem I had with the beginning of the tale was that I had a hard time understanding the Yorkshire accent, but I really started to love the addition of the accent to the tale. It made the tale seem more authentic and wonderful.
Magic abounds in this tale; so much so that it borders on being a fantasy tale. Apparently, Burnett infused the comfort she found in Christian Science teachings after her son died into this story about the power of mind over body.
There is some orientalistic thought in this book because India is portrayed as “unhealthy” and England as “healthy”, which I guess is to be expected because it was originally published in 1911. But it’s also a fun little book of kids discovering what it means to be kids and learning the joys of being outside instead of stuck inside.
- Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. New York, NY: Scholastic, 1987. Originally published 1911. Print. 298 pgs. ISBN: 0590407201. Source: Purchased.