Kathleen Dixon's Reviews > The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
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's review
Aug 21, 12

bookshelves: children-s, so-long-ago-i-can-t-remember-when
Read from July 31 to August 19, 2012

I first read this book when I was a child - my mother had read it when she was a child, and it would have been she who encouraged me to borrow this from the library. I don't remember the reading of it now, but obviously I loved it, because as an 18-year-old I purchased my own copy. Since then I don't know how many times I've read it, though I have to admit it's some years now since I last did. But reading it again is most pleasurable, and this is one book that I definitely6 won't be giving away.

Burnett has a way of writing that makes the you, the reader, feel she is talking just to you. She does that quite specifically at times, launching into a little 'soliloquoy', using what is now the quaintly outdated personal pronoun "one". When she does that, it's so "nice" that you can't help feeling she's a lovely, generous person. Throughout the rest of the narrative as well, there's the feeling that she is talking directly to the reader. And she not only loves her characters, but is quite sure that the reader is a lovable person and will also grow to love the characters.

This deserved classic is quite simply a lovely story. I strongly recommend that you don't read an abridged version - mind you, I can say that for any book (the reader always has the choice to skim through bits s/he finds a little longwinded, but I think it's sacrilege for anyone to alter the author's words) but especially so for this. Published 101 years ago, it is one we can encourage our children to read, and our grandchildren.
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