Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Book Review - Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Published by: Everyman's Library
Publication Date: 1910
Format: Hardcover, 318 Pages
To Buy

Here's a not very secret secret I'll let you in on, I hate The Secret Garden. Love the concept, love most of the adaptations of it, hate the actual book and the pompous little shits Dickon, Mary, and Colin. They are spoiled obnoxious brats who happen to be cruel and taunt the locals by imitating their Yorkshire accents. So if you're into books with kids who have cold-blooded superiority in their hearts this book is for you! And yet it is easily one of my mom's favorite books. I'm not saying she necessarily found the children's bad behavior amusing, though that could have been a factor, I know it would have bemused my paternal grandmother, I'm saying she loved it for the garden. My mom loved her garden, an inheritance from her own mother. She spent years getting it perfect, making it all the more sad when her Parkinson's made it impossible for her to work in it. When we were recently moving I found several photo albums of our garden during different years. All those flowers brought to life and loved, from those that were at the house when we moved there to those transplanted from other family gardens and loved for their ancestry. Therefore her love of The Secret Garden makes sense, a perfect garden tucked away that is all your own. She collected many editions because she adored the illustrations of all the different flowers. Her favorites were those done by Tasha Tudor and Inga Moore. At one point I suggested culling her numerous editions and she agreed as long as we kept the ones with the best illustrations. I think maybe one left our shelves that day.


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