Review Blog

Oct 12 2020

The secret garden: the story of the movie by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Linda Chapman

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HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9780008340070. 224pp., pbk.
First published in 1911, The secret garden is the story of Mary, a sickly, neglected, unloved and unwanted 10-year-old girl whose care has been mostly left to the servants who care for her English family in colonial India. After her parents die in a cholera epidemic, she is sent back to England into the care of her unknown uncle Archibald Craven at his isolated mansion Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire Moors. At first, Mary is rude and obnoxious, disliking everything about her new circumstances but eventually she warms to Martha Sowerby who tells her about her aunt, the late Lilias Craven and how she would spend hours in a private walled garden growing roses. After his wife died in an accident in the garden, Mr Craven locked the garden and buried the key. Mary becomes interested in finding the secret garden herself and once she discovers the key, her life begins to change.
This version is based on the screenplay of the 2020 movie which has finally been released and which many students will have seen. Telling the core of the original story it evokes a magical world that encourages self-discovery and change and perhaps an interest in reading the original. A stunning way to introduce a new generation to a classic. Watch the official trailer on YouTube.
Barbara Braxton

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