Classics Club #19: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a gem of a book. It’s one of those magical stories that book lovers appreciate in a special way. Not that it’s about books or reading, but it’s the kind of story that reveals itself and its characters slowly and gently, as only a book can. It’s about growing up and discovering the healing power of life. It’s a book for children of all ages, like The Wind in the Willows or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The story centers on Mary Lennox, a self absorbed ten-year-old British girl who lives in India. When a cholera epidemic strikes she is orphaned and placed in the care of an uncle she has never met who lives on the mysterious Misselthwaite Manor, a large estate near the moors of Yorkshire. Just as neglected in England as she was in India, Mary passes the time trying to solve two mysteries: What is the source of the strange crying sound that she hears within the house? And are the rumors of a hidden garden true? Her search to find the answers leads to growth and healing not only for Mary but also for other important characters on the estate.
The Secret Garden is a life-affirming book about the restorative power of work, nature, and companionship. Peopled with interesting characters like the reclusive Archibald Craven, the gardener Ben Weatherstaff, the servant Martha, and especially the magical boy Dickon, The Secret Garden is a classic not to be missed.
The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
First edition London: Heinemann, 1911
Kindle edition Open Road Media, 2014
Printed length: 306 pages