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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2010
Oh yes, you may laugh at the title of this review, or snigger or deride
but The Secret Garden is an amazing book. It is a model of construction and language, character (both of children and adults), behaviour, suspense and humour. Of course, it is about a time which, although just 100 years ago, is as far from us today as the Grecian Wars. But the author gives us a picture of a time without computers and mobile phones when a garden was a place to be simply enjoyed not forgotten in a rush for something ever more popular and a time when being active was a way of life. As you may gather I enjoy this book every time I read it and although it was meant for children of that time, it reverberates for modern day adults too.
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on 5 July 2007
We bought this lovely story for my daughter, after being fed up with the constant diet of Captain Underpants et al, that she always seemed to bring home from school. The idea was that I would read some classic literature to her each day before she went to bed. The first chapters brought forth constant grumbles and complaints (they are rather boring), but once the story got going, my daughter and I were hooked. She absolutely loved it and listened in rapt attention to every word. I don't know why the story is so magical, but somehow, it certainly is.

Unusually, the central character changes from one character to another, quite an interesting concept that actually works seamlessly, without the reader actually realising that the focus has changed.

As the garden works it's charm on the children, they slowly change from their normal selfish demeanor to care for one another and share in each other's joy.

A really lovely story. After we had finished, my daughter wanted more of the same. Captain Underpants was thankfully, relegated.
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on 6 May 2012
I actually chose to read this for the first time as an adult, having only ever come across the story in a 1993 film. The book, like most Barnes and Noble leather-bound classics is a nice addition to any collection. I would say that if you were intending to buy the same story brand new then spend a little more for this copy, it is lovely and these are the sort of books that will be nice to pass on to other generations. I like the story very much, it is well written and worth a read whether an adult or child.
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on 22 February 2008
I loved this book when I was a child and have looked around for a while at various different illustrated editions. This one is absolutely lovely and a real bargain at this price. It is the first version i have seen where the illustrations live up to the images in my head. Gorgeous full page illustrations and also lots of small ones on most pages. A beautiful book.
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2007
As a child this was one of my favourite books, read and re-read until my copy was beyond repair. The up-lifting story of a grumpy spoilt little girl sent from India to live at a big but lonely old manor in the English Countryside is a classic and deservedly so. Mary Lennox mellows as her friendships develop especially that with Dickon, a down-to-earth and good-hearted country boy, and Colin, Mary's indulged and sickly cousin hidden away in the depths of the old house, who also comes to find happiness.
The story is intelligently written with three-dimensional characters, the speech of the servants is presented with their dialect/accents in tact, and the children behave as real children would. Written in the early twentieth century, there's much to provoke discussion with today's children about how children lived and were treated a hundred years ago, the different lives and expectations of the servants and their families to those to the manor born, as well as those in Colonial India.
I was thrilled to come across this beautifully illustrated edition (in an approximately A4 format) with gorgeous timeless pictures which reflect perfectly the mood of the story and the era in which it was set. They also serve to make the book look attractive and appealing to the children of this generation. There's a picture on the majority of double page spreads, a mixture of black and white line drawings and a naturalists pictures of fauna and flora interspersed with ethereal misty full-colour illustrations that really pull you into a different world, that of the secret garden.
A book to truly treasure. Please please can we have Hodgson Burnett's The Little Princess equally beautifully illustrated next too?
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on 26 October 2000
I just adored this book as a child and I still can't read it often enough today. It is a moving, magical account of the mysteries of childhood and has a stonking plot to boot, like Charlotte Bronte for kids, only better. The characters, unlike those in A Little Princess (another favourite) are three-dimensional and complex, and the children behave like real children and not the Oliver Twist-style adults-in-miniature that appear in a lot of literature from this period. This is thought-provoking, intelligent and uplifting. Curl up and read it with your child in front of the fire on a chilly autumn afternoon with a cup of cocoa.
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on 24 January 2008
This book will bring nothing but a smile to the face of the reader. It is an incredibly well-written story that captivates one to the fullest. The characters are so well-described that you get a very clear and vivid picture of who they are and of course the surroundings. The author masterfully paints such a wonderful picture of the spring, the world waking up from its deep sleep, the blooming trees, the singing birds and the flowers. With spring the garden comes to life and with it, melts the ice from the hearts of the little Mistress and the little Rajah.
The story itself is an incredibly beautiful tale of a little girl, who has been cast aside by her own mother since the day of her birth, left to be raised by the help. Always lonely, unwanted, forgotten and incredibly spoiled the girl takes a long journey to learning how to appreciate the simple beauties in life, such as the sun, the flowers, the birds and the spring. She makes friends and learns to care for others.
An incredibly beautiful story which will warm your heart. Get this book and enjoy it !!!
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on 8 May 2009
This was my favourite book as a child, and I stil love to re-read it. The book is just magical, and left me wishing I had a big old manor in the moors to explore (despite the rainy brownie trips to the moors!) If you have children this is a must, but even for adults -give it read and be a kid for a while :)
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on 24 December 2009
I thought the book would be closer to the original. I am a teacher of 8 to 9-year-old girls, and I always read books to my class, to expose them to classics and ignite an interest in books. I have tried in the past to read the original Secret Garden story to them, but found the language too old-fashioned and the Yorkshire speech too confusing for the children. So I was VERY excited to discover a modernised version of the book, which I'd hoped was exactly the same as the original, with the text modernised, as has happened with many of Enid Blyton's stories. But, unfortunately, the book has also been abridged, and has therefore lost some of its charm and depth.
What a pity!
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on 18 May 2013
Yet another disappointment. Listed as a Folio Society edition, the book that arrived was nothing of the kind. Even the picture next to this page is the Folio edition but not what was sent to me3. This is happening a lot and is simply not good enough. When I put in a search for Folio Society bhardbacks why am I presented with Kindle and paperback versions as well as books that have nothing to do with Folio. The seller's descriptions of the books are often not detailed enough to let you know exactly what they are selling. When the system works it's brilliant but there are gaps and they bcould easily be corrected.
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