The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary Lennox's parents never had time for her which made her grow up into a very unhappy, spoiled, and rude child. She got everything she wanted from her Ayah and other servants in India. They did this to please her mother who didn't really ever want her and doesn't want her in the way of her lavish parties. But then comes Cholera and everyone flees leaving her alone with nobody knowing she's still in the house. When she is discovered they tell her how her parents died. She's not a very sentimental child so she only thought of where she would go now. She would go live with an uncle in a mansion. Little does she know that she will discover happiness and friends. She will do this all with first discovering the secret garden.

This classic children's book was nice to read but I loved watching the 1993 version more. I'll be comparing the book and movie. When they were talking Yorkshire I had to be careful I understood what they were saying. They didn't talk like that all the time but it was annoying when they did. There was also this part talking about how Martha (a maid) thought that Mary was going to be a black native which didn't sit right with me because what if you were going to read this with your kid. They said a little more. It's just a little part but it irritated me. I remember something like that in the movie and can't believe I missed that. I just remember Martha thinking she was native in the movie not black. So those are some complaints I have about the book.

The way the parents died was different than the movie. It was stampeding elephants that killed her parents in the movie. Her mother was Mr. Craven's wife's twin sister while in the book Mr. Craven's wife's brother was Mary's father. Everything else seems to be the same.

Of course this is all about a secret garden. The secret garden has been locked up for ten years and the key buried (Mary found it in a room with the tiny elephants in the movie). The reason is that the wife of the hunchbacked man Mr. Craven died in the garden. He was always a very serious and unhappy man but with her his life felt anew. She's gone now so he's become even worse. He won't see his son Colin because she died and he didn't.

Colin is another spoiled little brat. He's a sick child well that's what everyone has always told him. They've told him that he'll never live to grow up. So he stays in bed and his room all day not daring to go outside because it can hurt him. He has a bad back and thinks he'll become just like his father with a hunched back. Mary identifies with him. That's why I think she becomes friends with him. But by this time she's a lot nicer so she sees a lot of rudeness in this boy and won't have none of it.

Another major character is Dickon. I absolutely love Dickon. He's the maid Martha's brother. He becomes fast friends with Mary. He is an animal charmer and lives out in the moor (a type of land with animals). I liked him much more in the movie though. He teaches Mary about different plants and what to grow and all things like that. The book was quite long because that's all they talk about. That and Dickon's mom which wasn't talked about in the movie. I guess I saw the wonder more in the movie. I really loved the movie. It was magical to me. It made me want to go out and plant some flowers. You know when a book or movie moves you if it makes you want to do something.

There's a lot of talk about magic, more than the movie. It was a bit too much but it did add to the whole whimsical feeling to the story and the garden. It was more about the garden and magic making him heal. It was also about bringing the father to Colin in the movie. Sheesh.... I really want to watch the movie again... The book also kept on saying how she is getting fatter from going outside a little too much. I mean shush already.

Mary seemed way nicer and likable in the book than the movie and that is because of the time. A movie can show you a limited time of change possible. So I liked Mary the book better. You may be wondering what my favorite character is and if not oh well because I'm going to tell you it is Colin. I said I loved Dickon but Colin won my heart. He's the same as Mary but his rudeness and the way he acts in the beginning and the way he changes because of Mary just absolutely cinched my love for him. I just don't know. If you notice the picture I have of him above you would know. He's like Mary but he has been living a life that everyone tells him to live. He thinks he's going to die but with Mary's help he proves them wrong. It sounds like Mary is the hero which she is but I can't help but love the innocence and wonder I see in Colin. He's just awesome.

BUT did you know that in the 1987 version movie that Mary and Colin get married. They're cousins... The 1993 version mentions how jealous he is with Dickon and Mary looking at her and him saying he's going to marry her. It's an old book and I don't remember it mentioning it in the book where he had feelings for her but maybe I missed it? I still would highly recommend watching the movie and/or reading the book. It's a classic for a reason.

"And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles."


  1. I watched both movies, and I loved them. It's a great story.

  2. I loved this book and can understand why it is a classic. I didn't even realize there were two movie versions. Now I can watch them back to back and compare. How fun! Thanks for sharing. Great post!

    1. There's like 4 different versions and a Back to the Secret Garden movie too. I haven't seen them all I just know about them.


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