Mary Lennox it is a selfish, spoiled little girl. It is not
her fault, though. She lived in India, where her father had a position with the
English government and he and her mother were always too busy to bother with
Mary. She was waited on by Ayah, an Indian nurse. When she was nine, cholera
killed her parent. The only relative she had with an uncle in England. Mr.
Craven takes Mary in. He lives a huge mansion with a handful of servants.
Martha, a Yorkshire girl who is a housemaid, is assigned to help Mary, but she
does not wait on her hand and foot like Mary is used to. She learns to do
things for herself, dressing herself and amusing herself. Mary plays in the
garden where she meets Ben Weatherstaff and his robin. Martha had told Mary
about her brother, Dickon, who befriends the animals on the moor. This
intrigues Mary and she wants to make friends with the robin. She hears about a
garden that has been locked up for ten years. She keeps an eye out for it while
she plays in the garden. Martha told her about the garden one rainy day. Mr.
Craven's wife loved the garden, when she died he locked it up. As Martha told
her the story, Mary hears someone crying. Martha insists it's nothing but Mary
is suspicious. She goes exploring the house the next day and finds many strange
and neat things in the many rooms. Ms. Medlock, the housekeeper, catches her
wandering around and scolds her, telling her not to wander around anymore.
Martha buys her a skip rope and Mary practices skipping
along the garden corridors. She had found a buried key the day before. Then she
was watching the robin on some ivy and she sees the door to the locked garden.
She goes in and sees the garden is alive but it needs work. She decides to work
in the garden and bring it back to life.
Mr. Craven travels most of the time but he comes back for a
couple days and asks to see Mary. He asked her if she needs or wants anything.
She asked if she can have a piece of earth. He is startled but agreed. Mary
asks Martha to help her write to Dickon to ask him to buy some seed. Dickon
offers to help Mary plant the seeds and she told him about the secret garden
but they don't tell anyone else for fear it will be locked up again. The night
after she works in the garden with Dickon, she wakes up in the night and hears
someone crying again. Mary decides to go find where it's coming from. She finds
Colin, her cousin and Mr. Craven's son. He is as spoiled and selfish as she was
when she arrived. He has always been sickly and everyone fears if he lives, he
will be a hunchback like his father. He orders that Mary be allowed to visit
him. They discuss the garden and Colin wants to find it. He thinks if he could
get in, he would not mind fresh air and maybe he could get better. Mary admits
she has found it and they get Dickon to push Colin in his wheelchair out to the
garden. The garden makes Colin want to grow healthy and walk. He practices and
finds out he can walk if only a little first. Dickon and Mary take Colin out to
the garden on most every day. On rainy days Mary and Colin explored the house.
They managed to keep it all a secret, but let Dickon's mom in on it. She writes
to Mr. Craven and insists on him coming home but does not tell him why. He
comes home and, not knowing why, feels he should go to the secret garden. As he
does he hears voices inside, he can't believe it but then the door burst open
and Colin runs out into his father's arms. The garden has cured him.