Saturday, 21 June 2014

Book: The Secret Garden


Now it's summer time I can get back to reading like a mad man.  I don't read for pleasure during term time because I get so sucked into a book and then days disappear.  So it's a terrible time really.  

But now it's summer and I have no real commitments since no one wants to employ me #ificallitfunemployedisitfun.  So I can read lots, and I love my classics!  First book I jumped into was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, published 1911.  

I had seen the film when I was little but had never read the book.  Even though it's a children's book it was still a brilliant read.  

It follows Mary Lennox, a rather disagreeable child by all accounts, as her reality is transformed from colonial life in India to the wet moorlands of Yorkshire inside a big and empty house.  This change in environment bring a real change in character too as she softens and matures a bit, especially as her involvement in the secret garden grows. 

The depth and descriptions of the characters is really enjoyable, not just Mary but Dickon, a son of the moors.  Every passage including Dickon is alive and full of nature which I could imagine clearly.  The use of Yorkshire dialect is sweet and helps form part of the imagery that surrounds the blooming of Mary and the garden, a regeneration of life and family on several levels.

The Secret Garden is charming, quick and enjoyable to read.  Even if you don't like classic novels you will probably like this- it's frank and tell a good story, which are the important things in any book if you ask me.  It's not full of old fashioned words which can alienate readers today from classics, as they can seem difficult or hard work.  So I would giving it a read, even as a gateway novel to some of the other classics! 

Another positive with classics is that because of their age a lot of them are free!  I have a wee hardback copy but you can download it from Project Gutenburg for free.

If you have read it or decide to give it a go let me know what you think!  Similarly, if you have any suggestions for me.


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