Top positive review
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Wonderful variety of works, from a wonderful writer!
on 14 November 2011
I didn't know that Frances Hodgson Burnett had been such a prolific writer; in fact, I did not know that she had written fiction for adult readers, as well as children's books. Until I came across this collection, for my Kindle, I was only aware of her three very famous children's classic novels - Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. It is great to have all these wonderful pieces of writing together in one collection.
As a collection, these stories all share Frances Hodgson Burnett's excellent story-telling and descriptive abilities. As in the three famous classics, her books make the reader feel that they are "really there" and that the characters are real and entirely human. Her stories are lively and often quite exciting, humourous or emotive. I have, several times, found myself laughing or crying along with the characters, as the stories pulled me in and made me feel they were very real. There is also a strong sense of the mystic or mysterious, flowing through almost every story. The writer was clearly quite fascinated by the unexplained, supernatural or mystic - just as Mary feels there is a magic at work in the Secret Garden, other characters also talk about magic, hear each other calling across the world, or meet one another in their dreams. Yet, it is entirely believable and not at all silly or melodramatic.
I always thought that Frances Hodgson Burnett was a skilled and clever childrens' author; I now realise that her work goes far beyond this and her command of language and descriptive writing is nothing short of masterful.
A great collection of work, which I have been reading with real enjoyment. It's quite rare that I pick up a book and find I can't bear to put it down until I've finished the chapter, but this has happened over and over again with the stories in this volume.