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4.6 out of 5 stars912
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on 21 January 2013
I read this book many year ago when I was in middle school, and was absolutely delighted when I was looking through Amazon's free classics available for kindle and found The Secret Garden again. Just remembering the words from so long ago bring back the amazing evocation of spring, joyous excitement and new growth - a perfect read for the new year, I felt. Any book that can elicit that much excitement and thrill just through the memory of it has to be an amazing story - and it is in the Classics section for a reason.

The Secret Garden is one of those wonderful books that are written for children, but are still just as enjoyable for an adult as you go back to read it in later years. I don't think it's just about rekindling some of the childhood memories, the book is so captivating and full of Magic itself, that you can't help but feel that you are completely caught up in the children's' secret, and feeling the spring time growing up all around you. The characters for the children are written perfectly, with the innocence of behaviour and circumstance written so that you feel sympathy for them, not frustration at their bratty and spoilt behaviour. I love all the broad Yorkshire characters, from sweet Martha to the worldly 12-year-old Dickon - Burnett is able to describe the Yorkshire Moors with such clarity and wonderous effect that I defy anyone to not want to book a week up on t' moors, or create their own magical garden full of flowers and plants and birds and creatures.

The book also holds something which I think is important for adults to understand as well. Through the growing of the garden and the development of the children, Burnett describes the importance of positive thinking - through either Magic, religion, or whatever you believe in, it 'du na matter' what its name is. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason, trying to remain positive, and making your own things happen for yourself. This is a great thing to instill into children, but a lesson that we can all take as we grow up and begin to come across the uglier things life can throw at us. Lost jobs, broken relationships, dreams seeming to struggle to get off the ground; The Secret Garden shows how some fresh air and a decent outlook to work miracles, and I guarantee that reading this will give you a fresh, exciting view on life and what you can do with it.

I'll leave you with a line from the book that near broke my heart with its wonderful aptness:

"Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow."
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I first read 'The Secret Garden' at school. I recently read the book again and was taken directly back to those dusty classrooms. Bliss.

I'm surprised at how easy it was to enjoy the novel as an adult. Such an appealing story. The children, Mary and her sickly cousin Colin, are perfectly created and a wonderful blend of surly, moody and unhappy. It's easy to feel empathy for them locked away in a dark, old house though at times they do act like spoilt brats. That is until the magic begins.

The 'law of nature' is the magic within the story. Nature sweeps away the old, the dead, and makes way for new growth, new shoots. It's the emergence of a beautiful Spring after a dark Winter. As sunlight sweeps right into the hearts of the children they are changed forever and slowly uncover the hidden beauty within 'The Secret Garden'.

There's a message inside the story though we're quite closed off to it these days. It's a message for children to hear and be guided by and it's a very simple one; with the right mental attitude Spring will always follow Winter so long as you engage with the world and work towards it.

The Secret Garden runs to approx. 308 pages and is still one of the most popular classics for very good reason.
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I've lost track of the times I have read this book and it never fails to enchant me.

The description of poor sullen little Mary stuck in India all alone after everyone has died sticks in your mind and when she is taken to England to live with her Uncle she finally meets up with someone who is even more truculent and sullen than herself. However, along comes Dickon with his animals and his 'magic' and things then start to change for the better for both Mary and the invalid Colin.

The descriptions of the moors, the flowers, the animals and the wind 'wuthering' are simply beautiful, so much so that you begin to feel you are actually becoming part of the story and part of the book.

Utterly 'unputdownable' and highly, highly recommended to both children and adults alike.
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on 15 September 2014
I liked the book because there were lots of characters. They found the secret garden. It was so good, and at the start it was really sad. It was sad because Mary's mother and father died and she was on her own. It was really good at the end because Mister Craven found the children playing in the secret garden. it made me feel really happy. By Teddy.
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on 21 November 2012
I was amazed that my youngest daughter had not read this. She's an avid reader usually so I downloaded it whilst it was free. She hasn't got around to reading it yet but I have.

It's a lovely tale about a little girl who is brought up in India at the start of the 20th Century, but after her parents die of cholera she is sent to England to live wither her rather starnge and distant uncle.

The girl, Mary is spoilt and rude and it all comes as a shock to her not being pampered on and waited on hand and foot. Her uncle is still devestated by the loss of his wife and the mistaken belief that his son, Colin, is crippled and on death's door and he keeps him hidden from the world.
Left to her own devices she becomes lonely and takes to wandering around the large grounds of the house.

One day Mary finds a secret door to a garden, which had been shut away by her uncle after the death of his wife and had become overgrown. With the help of a maid's brother, Dickon, she sets about restoring the garden. One night she discovers her cousin and attempts to rehabilitate him by getting him out of the house and into the garden. But he is as lost and lonely as she is and Mary has her work cut out trying to convince him that he isn't dying.

The story touches on the tragic lives of three lost and lonely people, Mary, Colin and his father and how the garden eventually brings them together. It's a lovely story that is fairytale like in it's own way.
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on 11 January 2016
I'm not sure if I have ever read The Secret Garden before. I certainly can't remember doing so. But I got such a strong feeling of deja vu whilst reading it that I'm not sure anymore. It honestly felt like a reread, but I have seen the film countless times so it could be that coming through.

It was, however, still a lovely read. Heartwarming in its own way I suppose. The story is of course set in Yorkshire and the descriptions of the moor and the garden really make you feel like you are there. The story is told in the third person and I think this really helps these beautiful descriptions. I definitely don't think there would have been the same effect had the story being told in the first person.

Of course, I knew the story previously so I can't really comment on the predictability or anything. I will say that this was both nice and annoying. In a weird way, I didn't finish The Secret Garden as quick as I wanted to having already known the story. I really had to fight the urge to skip parts.

I didn't like Mary or Colin. They are both spoilt, bratty, awful children. Too used to getting their own way and downright rude. It's their way or no way. This did get slightly better throughout the story. But they still needed a slap of reality.

Anyone who likes animals is great in my book so of course I did really like Dickon. He is a genuinely nice, easy-going, lovable boy who would help anyone or anything. However, my brain hurt trying to understand what on earth he was saying. And then the other two starting speaking Yorkshire. I can generally understand the Yorkshire accent when spoken but this just had me thinking, for lack of a better word, "eh?".

Overall, The Secret Garden was a nice read. It's a classic so of course I would recommend it to everyone. Just prepare for bratty children and Yorkshire accents.
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on 7 March 2014
I saw the film ' Secret Garden' many years ago but was not very enthusiastic about it. Recently I was reading another book, ' I can see it clearly now' by Wayne Dyer. Wayne Dyer is a spiritual guru, 76 yr. old and in this book he relates his life story. He grew up with an alcoholic and an abusive father and was living in various foster homes from the age of two for eight years. When he was 10 years old, his class teacher used to read the book Secret Garden to the class , a chapter a day, at the end of the class. The main character of the secret garden, Mary is also an orphan who gets fostered. He identifies himself with Mary, and was enthralled with the story. In the book it says, ' thoughts are powerful things- as good for one like sunlight or as bad for one as poison. To let a bad or a sad thought get into your mind is as dangerous as letting scarlet fever germ into your body. '. Wayne Dyer says the book had a sort of magic in it and he was inspired. He grew up to to be a great spiritual man , a great teacher who travels giving talks.
I was prompted to buy the book ' Secret Garden' and as I read it I re- lived Wayne Dyer's experience as a 10 year old and how his life changed with it. I felt the magic too all the way while I read and I really enjoyed it.
Dr. Mala Weerasinghe

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on 9 February 2013
The book engages its title to its readers in an unrivaled appreciation of the feast spring brings to the outdoors.

Lovers of nature find its simple ways of explaining the moors, from the way some characters see it, warms its readers to an exploration of this area. The children brings to life their curiosity and use this to engage the reader into a willingness to indulge in the simple act of appreciating nature. The writer shows us The way some people carry out their duties, giving very little of themselves, lends truth to the adage,'we reap what we sow'- as shown by the ineffectiveness of the nurse, Mrs Medlock and the boy's dad.

Once we appreciate the worth of ourselves and our surroundings we can use these to effect change in others who need our help to blossom. The writer's use of local dialect, deeds of kindness and surroundings to adjust the reader's appreciation for things New and novel shows that this book is well suitable for young readers. I dislike the use of the word 'magic' to give meaning to the things that affect changes that we can't touch- it would have been best to allow the readers to give it their own meaning. Marassa
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on 6 June 2015
I,ve always loved the idea of a secret garden. but believe me this one is the bizz The whole thing about this plot is it,s beleiveability .The lovely warmth feeling as the story unfolds in the way that you wish bit would .
Full marks to Frances Hodgson Burnett for this and any others on a like scale ( perhaps there is a book n2? I do hope so .that I can wallow in The Secret Garden again
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on 30 May 2014
The Secret Garden may be something you read at school and have forgotten but it is a delight even now for adults and children alike. The message of the story has real heart and as such stands the test of time and is heartwarming to read, time and time again. The film is a great adaptation of the book, perhaps even better at the end, I think. If you like nature and you appreciate the value of wildlife and plants, and how connecting to nature is the key to being happy, you will love this story. The message is subtly conveyed but beautiful to see. Two unhappy children who behave awfully because they have been treated without kindness are transformed into happy and fulfilled people through the power of nature. Mary, neglected and bitter, is touched instantly by the robin and immediately begins to change for the better. She uses her new found knowledge to transform her cousin Colin. They are assisted by the wonderful character of Dickon who has always understood the power of nature through a healthy upbringing. It is a beautiful transformation and one I never tire of revisiting.
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