Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Secret Garden

I have seen many versions of the movie, but had not ever read the actual book. Having our own Secret Garden in our new house prompted me to get this classic on our bookshelves. I love this copy that I found on Ebay. It is a Hallmark Classic Gift Book and is covered in a beautiful red velvet which just adds to the pleasure of the read. The only complaint I have is that there is not any information in the book about the author and the writing of it. Not that it would be hard to find, but still... This wonderful children's classic was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett but I don't know when or when the first publication was.
The story was just as absolutely delightful as many of the movie versions and there was no surprises throughout the book that had been left out of the movie. It is a wonderful story of two rich cousins who are both left to themselves and are mean and spiteful children who know no better. When Mary, orphaned, is sent from India to live in England on her uncle's estate she is once again left to her own devises with not a soul who cares to be bothered by her. From her nursemaid, she learns the story of the Secret Garden and sets out to find it. Days in the sun begin to work their magic upon her along with her friendship with Dickon, the maids young brother. Finding the garden and starting the process of bringing it back to life brings out more and more of the girls natural happiness. One lonely windy night, Mary hears crying in the house and upon searching the corridors she comes upon Colin, neither knowing of the other. The cousins quickly become fast friends and determine to make Colin into a healthy young lad before his wayward father returns in the fall. A beautiful book of friendship and love to be enjoyed by all ages.
Following is one of my favorite passages:

"One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happeing until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun - which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by one's self in a wood at sunset andthe mysterious deep gold still slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in some one's eyes."


Blogger Mimi said...

The Secret Garden was a wonderful book... both of my daughters and I read it when they were young... I thought I still had it here (thought of reading it again) but I think one of the girls must have taken it along with many of their other books when they married
very enjoyable book review!
I've been missing your stories...
...one other thing... when the Blog Title "The Magic Bookcase" showed up on my bloglines... I couldn't figure out who it was... until I opened it and there you were...
I like the new Name!!!

2:49 AM  
Blogger jenclair said...

I read it in the summer after the third grade. My aunt gave it to me to keep me occupied as our families went on a trip to Hot Springs, Ark. It had a huge impact on my reading life, and I remember that trip only in relation to where I was reading...

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I also visited your other blog and laughed out loud at the fairy pricesses!

4:49 AM  

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