Amy's Reviews > The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it
bookshelves: gothic, classic, childrens, made-into-a-movie, everyone-loves-except-for-me, 2008-books-read

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 who she hears crying in the mansion and when she discovers the secret garden. Everything else beyond that (which is most of the book) isn't all that interesting. The author spends many pages explaining how miraculous and magic fresh air is for healing and fattening up the crying boy and the girl who escaped the cholera epidemic in India.

The bits that get old after a while: Oh, look, it's a garden! Look, I can run and play! I'm not a cripple after all! Look at the pretty birds! The garden is alive! Now I have an appetite! Isn't it a magical miracle that I'm having fun playing outside?

I just wasn't really impressed.
48 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Secret Garden.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

February 21, 2008 – Shelved
February 21, 2008 – Shelved as: gothic
February 21, 2008 – Shelved as: classic
February 21, 2008 – Shelved as: childrens
February 26, 2008 – Shelved as: made-into-a-movie
Started Reading
May 12, 2008 – Shelved as: everyone-loves-except-for-me
May 12, 2008 – Shelved as: 2008-books-read
May 12, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ally (new)

Ally The brand new group - Bright Young Things - is nominating books to read in January & The Secret Garden is among them. Its the perfect place to discuss your favourite books and authors from the early 20th Century, why not take a look...

message 2: by Hal (new) - rated it 1 star

Hal Ah, I managed to put back my like! I had removed it by accident . . .

Daniela I disagree with you. The setting might seem Gothic, but for you to know, the book is about a secret garden, and although it talks about magic, the author wasn't planning to get a ghost into it, and it would be weird in the story. The reason it is a classic is because the symbols the author tries to express are about human characters, behaviors, feelings. Please try to understand the books you read, especially classics. They are not made only for the story, but to give a message.

message 5: by Juan (new)

Juan Mitchell It became a classic because of Frances' great use of literature expression mixed with compelling story. I found the start more depressing than gothic honestly, seeing as how Mary's parents didn't want her. If you meant Mary's attitude at the beginning, then I would agree with you. The things that may have seemed as filler to you were actually build-up. I was intrigued with the slighest of happenings, like the maid Mrs. Medlock, warning for Mary not to persue the crieing sounds any further. Maybe it's just me. Sometimes you have to look deeper.

Eunice Ho no offence, but that's just so shallow. it's not all la-di-da and happiness, you know, sheesh
Books have messages. It's the reader's job to find them

message 7: by Hal (new) - rated it 1 star

Hal I didn't particularly like the book either and gave up on it at some point. Beyond a certain basic level of quality, which the book certainly has, it's mostly a matter of sympathy, I believe: If I tried to single out particular elements of the style or the story that I didn't like, I'd always find examples of books I liked which do the same thing (Victorian setting: Jane Eyre; focus on descriptions: Lord of the Rings; slow story line: Elizabeth is Missing; and so on). It's just that I don't have a lot of sympathy for that particular host of characters, and/or possibly for the author.

kundai Dzwairo your right

back to top