Thursday, 12 July 2018

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

For a small reading group who read a "classic" monthly, we picked this lovely children's story which I had read in my childhood.  It was such a pleasure to read it again, especially as I only remembered
the outline story.

 

 Mary Lennox has been sent from India to Yorkshire, to her uncle's home, Mistlethwaite Manor, on the moors.  Mary is a bad tempered child, using to having her own way with the Indian staff in her home, and frankly neglected by her parents, who are disinterested in children in general and their own in particular.  Fate takes a hand when an outbreak of cholera leaves her orphaned, and the hand it deals her doesn't seem much better when she arrives at Mistlethwaite to find that her uncle does not want anything to do with her either.  It's winter; it's cold and she has no-one to give orders to - for the staff of the manor house are not showing her any respect at all!

And then there are the mysteries - first, some walls around a part of the garden which has no entrance; and second the noise of a crying child, which all the staff deny hearing.  Gradually Mary makes friends, and this becomes the story of three children, who will each take a delight in being alive.

The vocabulary may be a bit dated, but then so is Dickens, and people still read him.  Go on, get a copy and treat yourself to a spot of Magic.