English Classic books have always interested me for their simple yet detailed descriptions of all the natural good things. This book that I just read is The Secret Garden, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is THE most wonderful book that I can think of! (at least for now that I’m totally trapped in its magic;) )
The best thing in the novel which gets you all involved is the simplicity of every role. When you read this you are really travelling a smart journey, with curiosity and beauty at all your sides! There is friendship, and their is selfishness, and motherly love and gentle help, smiles and laughters and yes- one top secret of life. Which is mentioned in the end!;)
The Secret Garden is a book about a little girl Mary, aged ten. Like most of the classic books, this too starts with the death of the little girl’s parents. However, this was not too miserable for the girl because she never had got loved by her mother, an Indian MEM SAHIB who cared more of her parties and looks, rather than her only girl.
So yes, the girl lived in India in a huge palace and since she was not cared too much from her mother, she was a responsibility of her AYAAHS (lady servants). That is why Mary was a very rude, selfish and arrogant girl.
Mentioned in the first chapter only, there was a cholera and everybody except the little girl died. The girl when found, was sent to a cottage where some poor relatives looked after her, but soon sent her to her hometown in England to one of his uncle, Archibald Craven. That is where the real story begins..
Her uncle is a hunch-back and is a very lonely person who does not like to meet people since his beloved wife died. His enormous home has more than a hundred rooms, most of which are locked. The mysterious house has a lot of gardens too, and one of them is locked. Not only is it locked, but it has no door too. That is because it was the favorite garden of her uncle and his wife and they had planted every single detail of greenery and colors in their garden. Nobody was allowed to enter the garden, before or after.
So the girl somehow finds the key to the garden buried in earth, and a robin helps her find the hidden door behind ivy-covered walls. And then she enters into the secret garden! The story continues on how she along with her friend Dickon (who was Martha’s brother); an animal charmer and the best ‘angel’ on earth as Mary calls him, manages to bring life to the barren, grey place and make their efforts in planting seeds. Dickon was very fond of animals and the creatures were likewise fond of him. As Dickon was born on the moor, and had lived there all his life with his mother and about nine siblings or so in a small cottage, he was brought up to be a very wise and brave boy, who spoke broad Yorkshire. With their high hopes of bringing the garden back to life, they work hard and also, secretly.
Martha was a kind lady servant, who looked after Mary. She helped her understand how she had to change the way she was. The most mysterious character of the story was Colin, who was the only son of Mary’s uncle. Colin was always ill and he believed he would be a hunchback when he grew up. In fact he believed he wont ever grow up, and that his life was only some more difficult years. His belief that he would die soon increased his ailment and he became an extremely snobby, depressed child.
when Mary gets to know about him, she makes friends with him and together with Dickon, show him the reality and the value of life. They manage to share the secret with him, and not only this, but also promise him a visit to the secret garden. In their own way of healing him, they bring animals in his room, explain to him the luxury of fresh air, and the beauty the nature beholds. The boy who had always been locked up in his own room out of his fears and ailment, soon begins to wonder what the secret garden would be like and wants to be taken there.
With Colin’s orders, the gardeners were sent away at the time he pleased (so that they don’t interfere in their secret) and Colin enters the amazing garden, which by now had been filled up with roses and silver-bells and ‘wilderness of autumn gold and purple and violet and flaming scarlet’. In few days time, he begins to heal and later, gives his tries to stand up and walk. Very soon after he discovered that there was no lump in his back and it was not crooked at all, he gives up his fear and starts feeling better.
Till the time his father returns, he had recovered completely, thanks to the MAGIC which set things right. His father who used to hate his son after his wife died, (and because he believed his Colin would grow up like him) was astonished and bewildered when he dramatically returns from abroad to his own Yorkshire and finds out his son in his secret garden.
The best part of the story is this:
In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this new century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can 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 for one as sunlight 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 over it as long as you live.
– Story Review by Maria Imran.