The Secret Garden is a classic novel I hold fondly in my heart, and have done since I read it when I was 9. This wonderful book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett (my surname!!) follows one awful girl called Mary Lennox, who is sick, rude, and foul-tempered, on her journey to becoming a happier human being through disaster and a move to Yorkshire. At the beginning of the book, Mary lives in India with her parents, though neither of her parents pay particular attention to her and she runs riot around the household with no one to stop her being nasty to the servants. Her reign ends abruptly however, when both her parents die of cholera and she’s shipped off to England to live with her Uncle Archibald Craven in Yorkshire.
Master Craven is a mean old hunchback who had shut up around 100 rooms in his manor when his wife died ten years ago. This is the stifled environment that Mary is sent to live in. However, there is more to this situation that she first realises. Mary discovers from her maidservant that somewhere on the grounds is a secret garden that belonged to Master Craven’s wife. He locked the garden up and buried the key when she died, but Mary is determined to discover the garden. In her searching, Mary makes friend with the gardener, who teaches her how to garden around the manor, and allows her a plot of land to plant on. She also makes a friend in Dickson, a boy from the moors, who brings her gardening tools and helps her become a nicer person.
Does Mary find the secret garden? That’s for you to discover! But that’s by no means the only mystery in this novel. One night, Mary hears distant cries coming from a room somewhere in the humungous manor, but no one will tell her what it is and she is strictly forbidden from looking. However, you and I both know that Mary isn’t the kind to do as she’s told – particularly before her character transformation into a kind child. She’s much too curious for her own good! But what or who will she discover locked up in the manor’s rooms?
This is a feel good story about children growing up in the countryside, and making friends with people both similar and vastly different from them. It is a renowned classic that absolutely everyone should read. I promise you you won’t regret it! A beautiful and heart-warming book for all ages!