Monday, July 26, 2010

The Secret Garden

Don't forget to vote for a book to read in August!

Mary Lennox is a spoiled rotten young girl. Her parents pay her no mind and she is raised by her Ayah. She is so mean and ugly that no one even notices when an illness strikes the household and those who did not die flee. She is found and sent away to live with an uncle in Yorkshire.

She is used to having everyone dote on her and give to her every whims. It doesn't take long in her new home to realize that no one cares and she better take care of herself. She starts wandering around the house and meets Ben Weatherstaff an ornery old man who talks to her and introduces her to a peculiar robin who likes to hang around.

Ben (also Martha, the sweet girl working at the house) tell Mary about 'the secret garden' that has been locked up since the 'Lady' died and Mr. Craven locked the door and buried the key. Mary is determined to find the key and with the help from her robin friend, she does.

The garden helps Mary gain her strength and confidence, as well as losing her yellow color. She gets the magical Dickons to come and help her and they weed and plant to make the garden marvelous again.

Mary's new housing also holds another secret. She sometimes hears crying down a corridor that she is not allowed to explore, but one night during a storm she does. Behind a tapestry door she meets Colin. Master Colin is the son of Mr. Craven and the lady who died 10 years ago. He is an 'invalid' and sickly. He never goes outside, even more spoiled than Mary and quite unpleasant. In their first meeting, he tells Mary multiple times that he is going to die. However, Colin is bewitched by Mary and is determined to find the secret garden and enjoy it too.

With Mary and Dickon's help Colin conjures up the strength and bravery to venture out in his wheelchair to see this magical garden. In the garden, Colin finds the magic to overcome his illnesses and fear to walk and play like a real boy.

This book has 2 spoiled rotten characters who both were abandoned by their parents and allowed to become very wretched. Both were changed by the garden and by Dickon's the animal and boy charmer as he is called. In a time when both Colin and Mary needed something, they found each other and encouraged each other.

It was a cute story, but it put me to sleep more than one night and was a tad boring. It was one of those stories where I skipped parts (especially parts describing the garden). I needed a bit more action. And the last chapter of the book made me roll my eyes, but indeed it was a sweet story.

I did have problems with the fact that when talking about the magic, Ben Weatherstaff mentions that if Bess (whatever her last name is) would have encouraged her husband positively rather than calling him a drunk she would have saved herself a beating. NOT COOL at all. Especially to have in a CHILDREN'S BOOK. What a wonderful message. :::eye roll:::

Is this the first time you read The Secret Garden or did you read it as a child? What servant did you most enjoy?

(Did anyone else notice that Mary did NOT like Dr. Craven, mainly because it was SOO obvious he wanted the boy dead so he could have the money? haha)


Amber said...

I didn't read this book because I couldn't get it at my library but I have seen this movie several times! I used to LOVE this movie!! From what I can remember the movie was quite different from the book but I think that's always the case.

Sam said...

I haven't read this book, but I own the movie. One of my favorites as a child!

stacybuckeye said...

Looks like one I dont need to rush to read.