Read as a child, reread as an adult. Understood the message better as an adult (although ti was a little unsubtle at times!) but still enjoyed it.[ret...moreRead as a child, reread as an adult. Understood the message better as an adult (although ti was a little unsubtle at times!) but still enjoyed it.[return][return]Orphaned Mary returns to England from India, where she has been spoilt rotten by her now dead parents and servants.[return][return][return]She now lives, seemingly alone, in a large, rambling house where the servants are too busy to do everything for her, and soon has to learn that she needs to make her own entertainment. [return][return]Exercise outdoors soon begins to improve her health, making her less sallow, but stronger. She makes friends with both the old gardener and a robin, the latter breaking the secret place of "The Secret Garden". The garden was locked up on the death of her unknown aunt - she has yet to meet her uncle, who has been off wondering the world since the death of his wife.[return][return]She also becomes friends with Dicken, the brother of one of the housemaids and between them they start bringing the garden back to life.[return][return]Mary then finds out that she's not the only child in the house. Her cousin Colin is confined to bed, either because of, or resulting in him being a sick, weakly bad tempered child. [return][return]In secret, mary and Dicken take Colin to the secret garden and with attention, fresh air, exercise and the right food, Colin begins to gain his strength. Both he and Mary learn to share and be less pampered and stand up for themselves and what is right.[return][return]Colin's father returns to find Colin fit and healthy, running around. The Garden is open and nearly back to it's original state. He learns that perhaps he should lock things away (including looking after his son).(less)
For various reasons, this also took me a long time to read. [return][return]Interesting story as to a young girl's trip through foster homes after her...moreFor various reasons, this also took me a long time to read. [return][return]Interesting story as to a young girl's trip through foster homes after her famous mother gets jailed for the murder of her ex boyfriend(less)
Read it when at school, and thought it was ok.[return][return]Read it again when I was much much older and oh boy. Understood the use of the governmen...moreRead it when at school, and thought it was ok.[return][return]Read it again when I was much much older and oh boy. Understood the use of the government and the media to manipulate the message being given to the populace, the pressure from everyone to conform "for the good" and how acting or believing differently can label you an outcast, and can even lead to fachism, communism or anarchy.[return][return]I think this book is best read at least twice, once with an eye on the "spin doctors" and the message being presented to you by others. The book has resulted in many lines and concepts that have subsequently been introduced into general usage: Big Brother (TVs/Computers constantly present in the home and people being constantly monitored for everything you do and say); Room 101 (being confronted with the very thing you fear as a behaviour modification technique); Doublespeak (saying one thing that means another).(less)
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lu...moreStaring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison
Read - ok attempted - as part of a challenge, and have to admit I've finally declared it a loss.
Set in the years after slavery, this is the story of Sethe, a black woman set free, but who is still haunted by the loss of her family and friends. She is not free in the real sense because she killed her children and one of these lost souls - her daughter Beloved - has seemingly come back to life to stay with her in the house 124.
There is a mix of timelines that weave in and out, with various characters appearing, such as the SchoolTeacher (the new, nasty Slave Owner at Sweet Home), Paul D, etc.
I can see why people have loved this book, and appreciate why it has won so many awards, but I've struggled with it, and read so many books in the meantime whilst this has sat on my bedside table that I have been unable to pick it back up and finish it. I will therefore have to declare it a loss and move on(less)
uld never had picked up if it hadn't been for the book group and it certainly is different. Set in a subtly different world where children are growing...moreuld never had picked up if it hadn't been for the book group and it certainly is different. Set in a subtly different world where children are growing up in a privileged school, protected and taught by "guardians", only to find out that they are clones - of unknown and never met "possibles" - and have been bred to donate major organs for others.[return][return]The main part of the story is based on the children growing up, looking back from adulthood, as Kathy has spent her time "caring" for some of her previous schoolmates as they donate 2, 3 or even more times before "completing". Everything is seemingly normal, and accepted/acceptable as a "normal", and their fate. Noone seems to consider *not* doing it and going off to do something else. Noone seems to comment on or miss they never had any parents and why they seem to have been abandoned to this fate. How are they bred and born and by whom? Many questions are left wide open, never to be answered, but the book is written in such a way that it seems accepted by the characters, and in turn accepted by the reader.(less)