Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden begins completely opposite Princess, with a sour little girl immediately struck by tragedy. Then slowly, wonderfully, there is a transformation. The garden metaphor is as enchanting as the secret garden itself. The story builds to a crescendo of joy, just as the garden bursts into fabulous bloom. What a life affirming book. I think that young readers are drawn to the imagery and mystery. Adult readers will surely be pleased on other levels as well, go outside, and marvel at the natural beauty all around.
Reading this, I was reminded of the "rose house" my grandparents had in their backyard when I was a child. It was formed by two long rows of miniature pale pink roses that had grown up high and together to form a shelter, closed up at one end. It was a most wonderful place to play. My Grandfather had an extraordinary green thumb, as well as a wonderful way with animals (he had been studying to be a veterinarian at one time). They had about an acre of land, backed by the "barranca" where I once caught very nasty poison oak, which included a dilapidated chicken coop (from my mother's childhood days), fruit trees, a small bamboo forest and the most wonderful blackberry bushes. My sister and I spent hours back there. Heavenly.
Maybe you will be reminded of a magical garden place while reading this book. Or maybe you will be filled with a strange desire to get out and make something grow. I think I'll plant some sweet peas.
P.S. FYI, my two sets of grandparents are so different from each other: I am talking about my paternal grandparents when I use "Grandma and Grandpa," my maternal grandparents when I use "Grandmother and Grandfather." It might not seem to be much of an issue, but it is a big deal to me!
P.S.S. Want to find out about more great books to read? Check out Turn the Page ... Tuesday over at Some of a Kind!