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Book Review: The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (5 star review)

The Secret Garden

written by Frances Hodgson Burnett

368 pages // published in 1911 // children's classics


Discover the magic and mystery of Frances Hodgson Burnett′s classic The Secret Garden. Lonely Mary Lennox finds adventure and friendship among the secrets of the old deserted garden on the Yorkshire moors. A story that welcomes readers, new and old alike.

My Review

5 Star Rating

Hope. Mystery. Happiness. Healing. Kindness.

How I love this children's classic. I think it's the right kind of book for a soul that has been crushed, for someone living with an illness, or for the down-trodden who just want a glimmer of hope. You don't have to be a child to see the beauty of this written gem.

I'm going to talk about the character of Mary Lennox. For starters, she's stuck up and snobbish. But I adore her. I never liked a character of that nature before -- in my entire life. But she changes, I assure you. That's one of the amazing parts of the story, one of the things that make me fall in love with the whole tale. People can change... you don't have to be stuck in a perpetual bad mood forever. Sometimes you just need to change your surroundings or switch up the people in your life. It can work wonders.

If there's one bone I have to pick with it... Well, it's just that the children call every lovely thing in their life "magic". I don't quite agree with that mentality. Even though things make you feel wonderful and giddy, that doesn't mean it's born of magic. Those happy feelings come from your friends (and you don't want to discredit them, do you?)... and from the beauty of nature... and most importantly (it ALL comes) from God. So I was surprised a bit that all of that was lumped together under a category of general "magic"... when, in fact, it's SO MUCH MORE than that. But oh well.

Overall, I find The Secret Garden to be very charming. If you need a feel-good, inspirational read... this one is always ready for you with open arms.

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  1. I read this book for the first time last year ( and felt much the same way about the "magic." Some books use the term differently, but when these children actually had an incantation to it...that bothered me. But otherwise I loved the story itself.

  2. This is one of my favourite childhood books! I am so happy that you enjoyed it. :)

  3. I adore this book, too. And I find that giving credit to magic just played on the characters' childhood wonder. I think feeling as though everything is magic or magical as a child is a better way to describe sort of unencumbered happiness.

  4. This book would definitely fall into my top ten books of all time. It will always hold a special place in my heart, and I wholeheartedly agree that this is such a spiritually uplifting read. I can't fault the use of the word "magic" as it just captures a certain childlike wonder, one that I never hope to lose. Wonderful review.

    1. Joel,
      The Secret Garden truly is a delightful read. I can see why it would fall in to your top favorites. I adore it too... I just don't know what I "waited" into adulthood to read it! :)