The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

image001The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a tale that I was familiar with before reading it, and somehow I wish I read it when I was still a child. I’ve seen the movies, but I’ve only read the book now. It is no secret that this book is a children’s classic and I can understand why.

Mary Lennox is a ten year old girl who moved from India to Yorkshire, Britain, after the death of her parents. In Yorkshire she is to live with her uncle.  One day Mary discovered the secret garden that was locked up after the death of her aunt ten years ago.  A robin showed her where the key to the garden was buried, and Mary was completely enthralled with it, Along with a new friend, Dickon, she decides to transform the garden – cleaning it and planting new flowers.

One day she also discovered, after hearing noises that sounds like crying, that a young boy lived in the mansion too. Her cousin Colin, who believed he was sick and an invalid, subjected the staff to many of his pointless fits.  Strangely, Colin took a liking to his cousin and she tells him about the secret garden and about her friend Dickon. The two of them decided that getting out more would do Colin some good and they particularly thought that the secret garden holds a kind of magic that would help Colin get better. That definitely was true. Mary, Colin, Dickon and the gardener worked and played in the garden, and sooner rather than later Colin started getting better. He believed it was magic, the garden’s magic… His father was non-existent in his life, because he couldn’t bear to see Colin in the state that he was. All Colin wished for is for his father to love him and in the end, the two are reunited.

This story was a delightful read for the child in me, and even as an adult this story is quite heart-warming. Basically the moral of the story, for me, is that we should be cautious of our thoughts. It determines how we feel and how we affect others. Colin thought he was sick and kept telling himself so, and so he was. The minute he knew and started to think he wasn’t, he got better. Thoughts and the power of the mind are powerful.  Judging from the children they were (Mary’s rudeness and Colin’s stubbornness and bad attitude) and what they have become, it proves to be true. I also loved the descriptions of the garden and the flowers that started to bloom. It’s springtime over here, and this little book definitely made me look at what is happening around me differently.  I would definitely recommend this book to those who haven’t read it yet, or if you had as a child, you should definitely revisit this book.

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PS: I read this as part of the Classics Club Spin, but obviously I’m delayed.