14 July 2015

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A book review

I saw the movie a thousand times. I finally grabbed the penguin classic from my work to read it. Though I love the content of the movie and though such content was very similar to the book, the end was rather different. The secret garden is about healing and nature's power to heal. The need for a sanctuary and a bit of magic (or miracles if you may). In the movie Mary don't cry, she learns to cry. Her uncle doesn't laugh, he learns to laugh and Colin learns to live. In all of this the amazing perfect Dickon acts like the sent angel to help them all. What motivated Frances to write of such a character, I wonder.

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"..."It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”

It is a classic and while most people just as in my last review, don't see beyond the annoying yet realistic attitudes of imperfect people, the messages are strong and clear. The fact that they were rich served as the background for them not to have a single care in the world. And if they were not rich they would not have such attitude problems. The story was all about a change of attitude and the way you look at things and how this can be a huge difference in how you live. I really dislike it when I read reviews about classics written so long ago and people expecting them to reach modern society standard's. Just like a lot of people criticized Pride and Prejudice, a lot also criticize how spoiled these kids are forever and ever. I mean, Colin does have a bit of grandeur syndrome in him, with wanting to live eternally and such. But come one, didn't you ever dreamed of such things when you were a child yourself?

Yes, Mary will still be racist. She will still be spoiled and so will Colin. But they will also understand about love, or as they call it, magic. They learn from nature what they did not learned from their parents. About care and patience. The fact that both are faulty children just make them more realistic in their situation. The small world they know and how little anyone has taught them about love makes them who they are.
“Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world," he said wisely one day, "but people don't know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”
I remember watching this movie when I was 8 years old and how it deeply marked me. I am who I am because of this and another story of Frances which I will read later on and also review. The book reflected more to what I have made of my life and I gladly recommend it to anyone searching for a bit of earth to grow some magic in their lives.

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