Friday, October 22, 2010

The Secret Garden

The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Evan’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 8.5 out of 10
Content = PG (Name Calling, Spoiled Children, Garden Disregard)

"There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, except th' smell o' fresh growin' things when th' rain falls on 'em."
Why:  There’s a reason this book is a classic and it isn’t because everyone secretly wants an awesome hidden garden in their back yard.  At the time of its release in 1910, The Secret Garden was not even close to one of Burnett’s most popular novels.  In fact, it wasn’t until many decades after her lifetime that the novel started to gain momentum and establish itself as one heck of a children’s book. 

While the prose is a little difficult to manage, you don’t want to miss the scene where two snobby, entitled kids argue over who is the most miserable.  Can someone say temper tantrum?    There’s also a boy named Dickon who is the coolest fictional child character to grow up on a moor in northern England, ever.  You can almost imagine the elaborate garden landscape as you watch the characters and plant-life transform before your eyes.  Just thinking back almost makes us want to pull the weeds in our flower garden… almost.

Editor’s Note:  Once you finish this book be sure to check out one of the bazillion Hollywood interpretations of this novel.  We highly recommend the 1949 version filmed partially in Technicolor.   Also, if you are thinking about reading this book, we recommend waiting until springtime.  Reading during the winter months could result in prolonged depression and even sudden evacuation and relocation to a warmer climate. 

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