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The Secret Garden

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  600,115 Ratings  ·  11,053 Reviews
An enchanting story of transformation and compassion, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is widely considered to be one of the most important works of children’s literature. After her parents die of cholera, Mary Lennox, a difficult and sickly little girl, is brought from India to her mysterious uncle’s sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Mary continues in he ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 11th 2003 by Modern Library (first published 1911)
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Amariah Dixon No. They were young children throughout the book and simply friends.
Jemma It's for everyone, I think. It's not like romance or fantasy, but the story line is really beautiful and I really enjoyed it. It's great. :)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Jun 28, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: TFG Top 100 Favorite Books (2011)
I am now confused. I do not know anymore what is my preference when it comes to books.

When I was a kid, I wanted to read only books with pictures like the illustrated "Alice in the Wonderland" or "Rip Van Winkle". Until I read "Silas Marner" with no pictures and I said, wow, books with no pictures are also great!

When I was a teenager, I said I don't like to read books that are hard to understand and read by adults until I read "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov and I said, wow, I did not know that th
...more
Shayantani Das
Jun 23, 2012 Shayantani Das rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Except for the persistent India bashing, I loved this book. In fact Mistress Mary, I loved the ending so much that I forgive your English superiority complex. Next time you visit here though, allow me to take you on the ride across India, I hope your impression will change
Todd
Sep 07, 2007 Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Shelves: classics
I know this book seems out of place among the fare I usually read, but hey, all I can say is that I like what I like. There is some intangible quality to this book that really strikes a chord in me. The whole idea of that sickly child being healed with love, attention, and (forgive me an LDS joke) wholesome recreational activities, just somehow speaks Truth to me. I think this book has strong application to today's problems with the rising generation. I really believe that kids these days are ge ...more
Brian Yahn
The Secret Garden is a "lovely" story in every sense of the word. Primarily, it's about three kids: Mistress Mary, Dickon, and Master Colin--and how just thinking a little differently can change a person completely.

There's a lot of subtle things Frances Hodgson Burnett does right: The way she relates the Garden to Colin's mother and how that affects his relationship with his father--and how all of these things have made him a horribly spoiled brat. That thinking a little differently, and getting
...more
Manybooks
I first read this wonderful and evocative story at around age twelve or thirteen (it was likely one of the first longer novels I read entirely in English, not counting books read for school). I simply adored this novel when I read it as a young teenager (or rather, a tween), I continued to love it when I reread it multiple times while at university, and I still loved the novel when I recently reread the story for the Children's Literature Group on Goodreads (and continue to love it).

I honestly t
...more
Zoë
Mar 24, 2015 Zoë rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 27/100 of 2015

I had to read this for class, but I'm happy that I did! I read A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett when I was younger and loved it, so I'm pleased that I had the chance to read this for a class.
Definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to read an easy classic as I love her writing.
Alison
Jun 29, 2008 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gardeners; children
I seem to be the only woman I know who didn't read and cherish this book as a child. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about...

It took me a while to get in step with the tone of this book. The beginning was Jane Eyre-lite...Mary is orphaned and sent from India to England to live with her uncle, a stranger to her. The story progresses...and then....Mary's talking to a robin, and he's showing her where buried keys are. At that point, the mood shifted, and I sat back to enjoy not a literary
...more
Amy
I guess I didn't miss much by not reading this book as a child. I don't really understand why it became a classic. It starts out interestingly enough with a very gothic setting. A little British girl named Mary survives a cholera epidemic in India and is sent to Yorkshire to live with her distant relatives. The author gives a vivid description of the beauty of the moors and the mysterious mansion that the girl goes to live in. The only other interesting part is really when Mary discovers the boy ...more
Carol
MISTRESS MARY, QUITE CONTRARY. HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? WITH SILVER BELLS AND COCKLESHELLS. AND MARIGOLDS ALL IN A ROW."

This delightful children's classic, first published in 1911, pulled me right in with the cholera outbreak and continued with a bit of mystery, lots of magic and some pretty important learning experiences for both children and adults alike.

Not surprising this wonderful work is on the "100 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once" list. Enchanting super-fast read with a beauty

...more
Merna
1 star for a classic?
What a scandal.
Well, it is the first classic I'm giving 1 star for, so it’s fairly a big deal.
Although I did not finish this, I already know how the book wraps up. (view spoiler)

Here's the thing
Classics deal with universal ideas. The secret Garden deals with kids who struggle with weakened attention spans. Even though it's overdone now days, I can understand why it was so popular, say a century ago. I already no
...more
Jamie
Jun 24, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I finally read this after all these years. I loved the movies based on the book and now I have read it to see which version is the most accurate to the story. Frances Burnett made the characters fun, easy and enjoyable to read about! I especially liked the various point-of-views you read. From the staff, gardeners, and even the bird!
Yona
This whole book was pure magic and I loved it.
Simon
Jan 14, 2012 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
****SPOILERS****

OK, I must have read and loved this book 40 or so years ago. (Yikes!) I liked it a lot this time round, but it was troubling to me in several ways. It starts off as the story of Mary, a girl suffering from epic neglect. (Her entire household in Colonial India, parents, servants, everyone, die from cholera or flee the house with no-one bothering to think about her, leaving her alone, not knowing what's happening, if anyone is there, scavenging for food from unfinished meals on the
...more
Jacquelyn
Nov 20, 2008 Jacquelyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Historical fiction Reading level: Ages 9-12
Want to know the Secret? This book was written almost a century before Byrne and Oprah shared their version. The garden is only the beginning of the story of a brat, orphaned in India, who moves to huge lonely house in Yorkshire, England. It isn’t only the wind that haunts the moors, but the wails of her tyrant cousin. With the help of a local family, the two children learn to heal their bodies and minds with fresh air, exercise, and a little man
...more
Sarah
Apr 27, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, ebook, 2016, classics
This was actually really good! I started reading this book with the notion that I wouldn't really enjoy it and that it would be lumped in with all those other popular classics that aren't so great in my opinion. I was SO SO wrong, this book was great and it 100% deserves the recognition and the right to be called a timeless classic. Reading this was like an otherworldly experience; there's no magic in the book per say but it felt magical. The story felt magical, reading it felt magical and the c ...more
Ferdy
Four stars because:

-I love ALL Children's books — classics and non-classics alike. I don't care how rubbish the story or characters are, I still end up loving them. There's just something charming about them.
There's no teenage angst, adult bullshit, love triangles, teens saving the world, insta-love or Mary Sues/Marty Sues (okay there is kind of one Mary Sue in TSG but he didn't bother me too much).
Its storytelling that doesn't rely 100% on cliched characters or tropey plot lines. Although they
...more
Jean-Paul Walshaw-Sauter
description

“Where you tend a rose, my lad,
A thistle cannot grow.”


„One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts – just mere thoughts – are as powerful as electric batteries – as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.”

Although I grew up,
...more
Cheryl
Jan 12, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-lit
Frances Hodgson Burnett looked to gardening for healing from grief and mental collapse--she also believed in metaphysical healing. Every day she wrote in a "walled rose garden." She loved reading Dickens and Charlotte Bronte. It shows in this book.

Nature and fresh air--all symbolisms. How can someone write about these simple elements and leave you interested? They throw in a couple of children protagonists who are psychologically and physically healed from a hidden, charitable garden. They spri
...more
Carmine
Jan 19, 2016 Carmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Uno degli aspetti più strani della vita è che solo di tanto in tanto siamo sicuri di vivere a lungo, molto a lungo, forse per sempre".

La vita è troppo breve per serbare rancori, arrendersi, costruire dei muri intorno a sé...
"Il giardino segreto" è l'emozionante resurrezione di due personaggi, ognuno dei due colpevole per colpe altrui; entrambi silenziosamente desiderosi di amicizia e amore, sentimenti per lungo tempo negati.

Viviamo in una società ove facciamo coincidere il nostro benessere con
...more
Zanna
Oct 19, 2015 Zanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This was my favourite book for several years as a sensitive, intense child. The evocation of the moor, the transformation of the boy Dickon into a mythical figure and the mysterious garden were so powerful to me, I experienced them with a passionate intensity that transported me completely. When I travelled on the bus to Whitby years later and realised that I was looking at real Yorkshire moors, and had actually seen them many times in my life, I was once again in awe of Frances Hodgson Burnett' ...more
Hana
The Secret Garden was first published in serial form beginning in 1910. It is a book about children, but it is not just a children's book.

Frances Hodgson Burnett uses the novel to explore the themes of mental and physical damage and healing. In contrast to the traditional Victorian literary trope of angelic children, the two main protagonists in The Secret Garden are extremely unlikable; yet despite, or even because of their flaws, they are able to heal others--and themselves. Along the way, Bur
...more
Yulia
Apr 24, 2008 Yulia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mini-me
Silly me, I looked through all the editions to find the one I grew up with, but had no luck. But this is what I wrote about it a few months ago:

In the third grade, I would have been hopelessly overwhelmed by my reading assignments had my father not offered to help by reading aloud every other chapter to me and having me read him the rest. We did this in the bedroom, as my mother openly complained how he made a travesty of the English language, with his Russian accent and his putting stress on th
...more
Marnie  Krüger
I've read and re-read this book so many times, I've lost count.

Still it brings joy to me every single time, still it reminds me of the magic my heart felt when first I read it, that unlimited fountain of happiness that can't stop bubbling.

This is a real treasure, it always brighten up my life, it always reminds me of the power of positive thought and how easy it is to succumb to negativity in this world, no matter your age or gender or religion.

My the magic brighten up your life!
bibliophile (Romance Addict)

***3 Stars***

 photo 3fffe9840a03414520510ca84ff087b4.jpg


This book is definitely better than I expected it to be. Although it took me a very long time to finish since it doesn't have much romance, but it was enjoyable to read about Mary and how she made friends, and family. I also really like the message this book gives, and it also shows how a person should always look on the bright side.

Another good point about this book is that there weren't hated characters at all. Mary, Colin, and Dickin were cute and adventurous. I don't partially
...more
Nikki
Two days after surgery to remove one of my internal organs, I think I can be forgiven for lapsing into extreme nostalgia... at least I haven't reached for my illustrated copy of Heidi yet? I didn't actually have an illustrated copy of The Secret Garden, growing up -- or if it did have illustrations, they were few and far between, and in black and white. But I read the book to bits (I still have a copy held together with brown tape), and even a non-visual person like me builds up some mental imag ...more
Amanda
My experience reading this the second time was very different from the first. I didn't really notice awkward sentences or dialogue and I wonder if that's an effect of the gorgeous new edition I have (compared to the last one which was kind of hideous) or if the editing itself was different. The illustrations added SO much to the reading experience and made it much more emotional and moving and beautiful. It was easily a five star reading experience and is definitely one of my favorite books of a ...more
Robert
Aug 01, 2011 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This story about how two children who managed to be both spoiled and neglected healed each other with the aid of a secret garden is something of a classic. I came across it in primary school and eventually got round to finding out if what I remembered as good really was: it is - fairly good, anyway. It becomes somewhat repetative in the latter half and the plot is entirely predictable from early on. It's also a bit over the top regarding the transformative power of nature and gardens. In fact (a ...more
Kathleen
"Oh, what a queer house this is!" Mary said. "What a queer house! Everything is a kind of secret. The rooms are locked up and the gardens are locked up, and you! Have you been locked up?"

! FREE audio version of this uplifting children's classic, set in Yorkshire, England, about 1910. Fine character development, inspirational and motivational themes, plus a good mystery. Granted, the author pushes the power of fresh air and Mother Nature a tad much, but she avoids pious judgmentalism, and I ador
...more
Rebecca Recco
Mar 04, 2008 Rebecca Recco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially young girls.
Recommended to Rebecca by: my Mom
Shelves: favorites
This is my favorite book, ever! My Mom made me read it as a kid, and I really didn't want to. I put it off and put it off, and finally decided to just suck it up and read it. I think it took 10 pages for me to get completely hooked.

I think I loved the book so much because it was all about bringing about life and growth through love. All the main characters are sort of "forgotten" in some way or another, and they go on this adventure when Mary finds a key to a secret, walled garden. The garden ha
...more
Tina
Mar 20, 2016 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I remember I attempted to get into this book in early 2014 and failed miserably after about 20 pages—I don’t know what it was, but I guess it just wasn’t the right time for this book.

Eventually the right time did come and somehow, being under a lot of pressure at work and life in general, I unconsciously, through some weird instinct, picked up this little children’s book that helped me to regain my usually positive attitude towards life. If you feel like I did, give it a read; it might help you
...more
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Frances Eliza Hodgson was the daughter of ironmonger Edwin Hodgson, who died three years after her birth, and his wife Eliza Boond. She was educated at The Select Seminary for Young Ladies and Gentleman until the age of fifteen, at which point the family ironmongery, then being run by her mother, failed, and the family emigrated to Knoxville, Tennessee. Here Hodgson began to write, in order to sup ...more
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