The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden
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May 3, 2023 May 10, 2023
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When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary's only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. One day, with the help of two unexpected companions, she discovers a way in. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?


About the book

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a children’s book that tells the story of Mary, an orphan girl who goes to live with her uncle in England. Mary discovers a secret garden which she tends to together with a servant’s brother and her ailing cousin. The book deals with the theme of illness and healing, but also with the cultural diversity and nature that she always tries to survive.

What I think

I liked the book very much. I didn’t think it was going to be that good. Although, if I had read it as a kid I wouldn’t have liked it because I hated reading… I also read this book with the Fable book club, even though the book club is different than the one used for Dr. Jekill and Mr. Hyde.

It is noted in the book how Indian servitude and English servitude are treated differently. Although English servants are poor (see Martha) Mary clearly indicates how differently she is treated than what she was used to with Indian servants, who were just about enslaved.

I never read the introduction of the classics, but this time I wanted to read it at the end. What a surprise to read what I always thought in the introduction. (My own translation from the Italian)

…only to discover in the introduction the meaning of the book, because it represented a respectable and instructive choice and, worse still, the whole plot, including the magnificent ending…

she is so  right! But at least she specifies it and indeed asks us to go straight to the novel if we don’t want to know, which is what I did unconsciously. Well she tells us twice.

She also read this book as an adult like me and I felt not alone.

It struck me that in the introduction Alice Sebold tells of when she bought a house and that the garden was disastrous, but that nature wanted to live and it reminded me of nature’s force of life that I read in a book on Nagasaki in which even after the bomb the flowers were born anyway and so also after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in which, in some points where the ocean had covered everything and they thought that nothing would grow anymore for a long long time, instead the vegetation returned luxuriant, even if different (since the earth has absorbed salt water).

However I liked the book a lot, I like the fact that it gives hope to those who are sick and especially in a children’s book, I think it is a very well subject.

Now I also want to read The Little Lord (which here is a film that gets boring at Christmas and nobody watches it anymore) and The Little Princess (which I think is Sara from a well-known cartoon from my childhood, right?)

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