Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Secret Garden

 The Secret Garden

Disclaimer: Obviously, this is a detour from my planned summer reading list. I don't have a good excuse other than I really wanted to read this again. And I know the book photo I have posted here is a link to one of the Kindle editions, but this is the cover of the paperback that I own.


 I don't know how many times I've read The Secret Garden. My parents have a gorgeous hardcover edition with illustrations by Tasha Tudor. As a child, I'm pretty sure my favorite thing about the book was the illustrations. Tasha Tudor's idyllic pictures showed me a world I wish I could have...even at the age of six.

Honestly, I could write an entire blog post on Tudor and why her illustrations and her stories have shaped me into the old-fashioned girl that I am. But I won't do that today!

Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote many books. I've only read a few of them; the other one I can remember at the moment is A Little Princess, which also happens to be a favorite.

Anyway, I won't go into the details of this book, because it's one that almost everyone has read at some point in their life. I just want to state that the theme of resurrection throughout the book is the best part. Mary and Dickon bringing the garden to life...Colin's whole body being healed...all of it is so beautiful.
Granted, I don't know if Burnett was a Christian or not. The inclusion of Magic in this book and her way of looking at nature makes me think maybe not, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a glorious little book and makes one feel very good inside.


Children's literature from the Victorian era is such a happy place. Seriously. I think more children today (and adults, for that matter) ought to read books like this and take note of things. The world was more uptight then, but I don't think that was a bad thing. Obviously, I don't endorse everything about the Victorian era, but it seems to me that we could learn a thing or two about the morals and values they had.

The Secret Garden receives five stars from me, partly for nostalgia, but mostly because it is a well-written and wholesome story.

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