Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden is a timeless story about the power of love, friendship and positive thought.

I fell in love with Mary Lennox and The Secret Garden as a child primarily through my love of the 1993 movie version of this classic. says of The Secret Garden: “Mary Lennox was horrid. Selfish and spoilt, she was sent to stay with her hunchback uncle in Yorkshire. She hated it. But when she finds the way into a secret garden and begins to tend it, a change comes over her and her life. She meets and befriends a local boy, the talented Dickon, and comes across her sickly cousin Colin who had been kept hidden from her. Between them, the three children work astonishing magic in themselves and those around them.”

It was this astonishing magic that held me enthralled as a somewhat older reader. It is easy to forget sometimes how strong the power of positive thought it. Sadly, I often find themselves having negative thoughts about myself and other things around me, and I am painfully aware that negative thoughts only prevent us from living a happy life.

What the children in The Secret Garden teach us is the importance of believing in yourself, believing in others and the benefit of leading a positive and fulfilling life.

Rather than go on too much about the important lessons I think we can all take from The Secret Garden, I am going to share with you two quotes that perfectly illustrate what I think the most important lesson to take from this story is.

"At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can't be done, then they see it can be done - then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts - just mere thoughts - are as powerful as electric batteries - as good as sunlught is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get it over it as long as you live." ~ Quote page 238
And my favourite:
"So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his fears and weakness and his detestation of people who looked at him and reflected hourly on humps and early death, he a was hysterical, half crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine and the sping and, and also did not know that he could get well and stand upon his feelt if he tried to do it. When new, beautiful thoughts began to push out the old, hideous one, life began to come back to him, his blood ran healthily through his veins, and strength poured into him like a flood. His scientific experiment was quite practical and simple and there was nothing weird about it at all. Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and rush it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be done in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow." ~ Quote page 239
This is a book that we can all benefit from reading, regardless of age or country of origin. I hope everyone has an opportunity to read this delightful story soon.

7.5 / 8
Brilliant, couldn't put it down. Everyone should read it - it is totally amazing.

Did you take any important lessons from this wonderful children's book?


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