The Secret Garden – A classic novel by Francis Hodgson Burnett


Novel – The Secret Garden
Author – Francis Hodgson Burnett
Publication Date – 1911
Genre – Children’s Classic

Sorrow was never so beautiful and heart-warming as it was in 1911’s most read novel – The Secret Garden. Written by Francis Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden revolves around two kids who discover happiness in a locked garden which holds key to bring a magical transformation in their sad and melancholic life. The untimely demise of Mary’s parents in an earthquake leaves Mary Lennox lonely and bitter. But the support of her uncle – Mr Archibald Craven brings her from India to England where she now must adjust her life in a huge mansion comprising of 100 rooms and a beautiful garden surrounded by blooming flowers and chirping birds.

Deprived by the love of her late workaholic parents, Mary Lennox’s nature is arrogant, cynical until she discovers a kind friend and good companion in Martha, a servant. In the company of Martha, Mary Lennox transforms from an arrogant girl into a kind, caring little one.  While roaming around the garden, Mary discovers a rusted key which leads her to unlock the secret garden that has been closed for 10 years. During her stay, Mary befriends Dickon, the younger brother of Martha who helps her to unravel the mystery behind the secret garden. As they open the door of the garden, they explore a blissful garden surrounded by sweet chirping birds, trees and countless blooming flowers.

Slowly as the story progresses, Mary comes to know about her cousin Colin Craven, who has been bedridden in the mansion. Abandoned by his father Archibald, Colin has no one to look after until he finds a friend in Mary and Dickon. Mary and Dickon not only help Colin to recover from his illness and also enable him to discover the true meaning of happiness. Together the three friends enter the garden and what happens later is series of heart-warming incidents which shapes the lives of Mary and Colin. Does Mary succeed in making Colin realize the true value of happiness and hope? Does Colin succeed in winning the love of his father? What’s the secret hidden behind the garden? All these curious questions will unfold as you start reading the novel – The Secret Garden. The light heartedness of this novel reminds you of other great novel of the same genre – – Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott. Filled with joy, compassion and happiness, The Secret Garden succeeds in bringing a smile on your face. Once you complete reading this novel, also check out “Little Women”, “Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, “Pollyanna” and “The Railway children”. Hope you like this post.

Prashant Badiger