I am an avid reader. The way I have written that sounds like a confession. I really do love books, there are books in the lounge, books in the kitchen, I have some book in my bedroom and of course the children have books in their room.
Whilst growing up there was always a lot of books in the house and both my parents would read so I think my love of books stemmed from that and I think my love of reading has been one of the reasons that E loves to read so much.
I have an assorted collection of books that I enjoy reading, I loved all the Harry Potter and the Twilight Saga books, I am a big fan of Jane Austin books too, especially Pride and Prejudice with the wonderful Mr Darcy.
There is one book however, that I love more than any other book, it is a book that my mum gave to me as a child, it used to be her favourite book as a child too. It is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
“The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a classic story for kids. It was first published in 1911, and, more than one hundred years later, it still resonates with children around the world.
The story follows an angry and spoilt British girl, Mary, raised largely by absentee parents in India. As Mary rarely sees her parents, the Indian servants manage her. When cholera kills both her parents unexpectedly, Mary is sent to live with an unknown uncle in England. Life in England, in a big house, with an uncle who is either away or forgetful of her presence, is nothing at all like life in India. However, as she runs freely through the gardens and begins to make her first friends, she realizes she has changed. When she looks upon herself, now, she sees, “quite a different creature from the child she had seen when she arrived from India. This child looked nicer.”
The Uncle she is sent to stay with- Uncle Archie is not a cheerful man. He has a crooked back and is tortured by a grief as old as Mary, and he only sees the girl once before going off on a European tour of self-loathing and despair. Mary finds herself in a 100-room mansion with strict orders not to go nosing around, no one to wait on her as the Indian servants did, and nothing to do except run around outside (which turns out to be good for her health). Then she takes an interest in a walled garden that has been locked up since her Uncle’s beautiful wife died 10 years ago, and she develops a sudden interest in digging and planting things (which is even better for her health).
The Secret Garden – Mary discovers, thanks to a friendly robin – is a special place, full of life and potential, which is just what the children in the book have unknowingly been yearning for. The Secret Garden brings together the three lonely children: Mary, who has no close family and is not fond of people; Colin, who is so full of hatred, self-pity and anger, and who is not even sure whether his father loves him, but is certain that he is going to die; and Dickon, who although constantly has a bright and sunny disposition, prefers the company of animals to people, until he meets Mary. The Garden transforms all three children in different way.
I love this book and every time I read it, I fully submerge myself into the story and its characters that are fully brought to life along with the Yorkshire accent by the author. The story brings you imagination alive from how awful Mary is at the start of the book to how beautiful the secret garden is. I recommend this is a must read for everyone, it is an excellent story for children and adults alike.
When E is older I will also be buying her a copy of this much loved story and hopefully she will love it a much as I do.