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Shvoong Home>Books>Classic Literature>The Secret Garden Review

The Secret Garden

Book Review   by:MariaImran     Original Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
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Classic literature books contain simple yet detailed descriptions about their characters, which adds to the beauty of the novel. ' The Secret Garden' , written by Frances Hodgson Burnett is certainly one of the best books I have read so far!

The best thing in the novel is the simplicity of every role. When you read this you are actually travelling a curious journey, with nature and beauty at your side! There is friendship, selfishness, suspense,laughters, and also the worth of life!

The Secret Garden is a book about Mary Lennox , aged ten. Her parents died when she was young, she had never been bestowed by their love. Thus, the girl grew up to be very rude, selfish, unaffectionate and arrogant.

Mentioned in the first chapter only, there was a cholera and everybody in her palace, except the little girl died. The girl when found, was sent to a cottage where some poor relatives looked after her, but soon sent her to her hometown in England to one of his uncle, Archibald Craven . That is where the real story begins..

Her uncle is a hunchback and is a very lonely person who does not like to meet people after his beloved wife died. His enormous home has more than a hundred rooms, most of which are locked. The mysterious house has a lot of gardens too, and one of them remains locked. Not only is it locked, but there is not as ingle door to be found! That is because it was the favorite garden of her uncle and his wife and they had planted every single detail of greenery with much love and dedication. Nobody was allowed to enter the garden except the couple and after his wife's death, nobody saw the garden open.

Mary, who was very curious about the garden was always looking for ways to find the hidden door. One day, she finally found out! It was when she followed a robin who flew behind ivy-covered walls and sat on the place where the door was hidden, that Mary uncovered the great secret! As she enters the garden, she is awed with delight and surprise. She invites her friend Dickon who was an animal charmer and the best ‘angel’ on earth as Mary calls him, and together they manage to bring life to the barren, grey place and bring the garden back to life, again.
Dickon was very fond of animals and the creatures were likewise fond of him. As Dickon was born on the moor, and had lived there all his life with his mother and about nine siblings in a small cottage, he was brought up to be a very wise and brave boy, who spoke broad Yorkshire. With their high hopes and hard work, they together accomplished their dreams, secretly.

Martha who was a kind servant, looked after Mary. She helped her understand that she must change her bad-temper and learn to live on her own. Also, she proved to be a great supporter to Mary.


The most mysterious character of the story was Colin , who was the only son of Mary’s uncle. Colin was always ill and he believed he would be a hunchback when he grew up. In fact he believed he won't ever grow up, and that his life was only some more difficult years. His strong thinking that he would die soon increased his ailment and he became an extremely snobby, depressed child.

When Mary finds him crying in a room, she decides to make friends with him and together with Dickon, show him the reality and value of life. They also shared the secret of the lost garden with him, and also promised him a visit there. In their own way of healing him, they brought animals to his room, explain to him the luxury of fresh air, and the beauty the nature beholds. The boy who had always been locked up in his own room out of his fears and ailment, soon begins to wonder what the secret garden would be like and wishes to be taken there.

His wish was soon granted and one day, he was taken to the garden, which by now was full of roses and silver-bells and ‘wilderness of autumn gold and purple and violet and flaming scarlet’. In few days time, Colin begins to heal and later, makes all his efforts to stand up on his own, and walk some feet. Very soon he discovered that there was no lump in his back and it was not crooked at all, so he gave up his fear and started to feel a lot better.

Till the time his father returns, he had recovered completely, thanks to the MAGIC which set things right. His father who used to hate his son after his wife died, (and because he believed his Colin would grow up like him) was astonished and bewildered when he finds his son healthy and happy, on his return from abroad.

He learnt about how Mary and Dickon had helped Colin, and how they had planted numerous plants in the garden. Was he angry? No! He was very grateful to the kids who turned back life in the garden and appreciated them for their love and hard work!
-The end-

Published: June 28, 2013   
Please Rate this Review : 1 2 3 4 5
  1. Answer   Question  :    CAN I VIEW THEIR DIALOGS? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    Nice!!!!!@ View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    didn't Colin say he was going to marry Mary Lennox at the end? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    One of the movie versions of The Secret Garden, they changed the context in which Archibald Craven was NOT a relative and therefore Colin Craven and Mary Lennox were NOT cousins. At the very end of the movie they show them as adults where Colin proposes to Mary in the garden that was kept alive all the years by Ben Weatherstaff. This was NOT in the book. Thursday, June 05, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    good book View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what does he or she believe in? What is he or she willing to fight for? View All
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  1. 2.

    Ben Weatherstaff

    But what was Ben Weatherstaff's personal conflict in the book ? Please reply fast anyone .

    0 Rating Sunday, August 18, 2013
  2. 1. Liz

    Nice review

    Hey! I loved the review you wrote! It was really fun to read this, I just have GOT to get this book now!

    3 Rating Friday, June 28, 2013
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