The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.  – Goodreads.com

I have such strong memories of watching this film with my sister as a kid, eating margherita pizza with pineapple. This is the first time I’ve read the book and it still made me cry at the exact same places.

After reading this you can see how perfectly the film was cast and how beautiful the garden was, it was amazing seeing it all come to life. There are barely any differences between the novel and film, even in the dialogue. Really beautifully done. Martha is a standout character in both the film and the novel, and Dickens is slightly more magical in the book. Strongly recommend reading this one!

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