Book Discussion: The Secret Garden


Hello fellow readers!

Ready to talk about the book of the month of June? Here we go!

One of the strange things about living in this world is that it is only now and then that one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever.

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Short Summary

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, was first published in 1910 in serial format, and in then its entirety in 1911. It’s about Mary Lennox, a smug young girl with quite a temper, who leaves India after her parents’ death to live in her uncle’s mansion in Yorkshire, where she’ll become fascinated by a secret garden locked by said uncle ten years before. By seeing things grow in the garden, she’ll start to see the good in life, and will slowly open up to the world.

I like you, and you make the fifth person. I never thought I should like five people.

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

secret garden

My thoughts

I truly loved the garden. The setting itself felt like a real character to me, with all the great descriptions and the impact it had on the kids (Mary and Colin). I loved the mansion too, with its thousands of locked rooms and curious cries in the night; it was an effective tension generator, and that’s what made me turn the pages in the first chapters.

I found Mary’s changes in behaviour so heart-warming and inspirational. She may seem spoiled and foul-tempered, but she’s really just a lonely child.

“I’m lonely,” she said. She had not known before that this was one of the things which made her feel sour and cross. She seemed to find it out when the robin looked at her and she looked at the robin.

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

I’ll admit I found it a bit annoying that in the last chapters, the story revolved entirely around Colin. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a strong character and all, but what about Mary? Wasn’t this Mary Lennox’s story? I like Mary. I want to know what she thinks in the end. And Dickon, too. He’s such a cool character! And animals love him, so I love him.

Still, the ending itself it amazing. That entire last chapter is quote-worthy, and I’m in love with the message of this novel: Thinking positively, and seeing the good in things and people instead of the bad, is the key to happiness. (Of course there are hundreds of interpretations, but that’s mine. Feel free to share yours!)

Botanic Garden of Warsaw, Poland

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.

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Your turn to share!

What did you think of this novel?
What did you like/didn’t like about it?
Any favourite quote/character/scene?
Have you read other novels by this author?

Don’t forget to vote for the book we’ll be reading in July! I was thinking about Half Brother, Kenneth Oppel; All The Bright Places, Jennifer Niven; I am #4, Pittacus Lore. Let me know what you think in the comments!


12 thoughts on “Book Discussion: The Secret Garden

Add yours

  1. I completely forgot about this book, it’s been years since I’ve read it. I’m so glad I stumbled across this article. I remember thoroughly enjoying it, I’m definitely going to have to reread it!


  2. The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books – it is simple, touching and has a very uplifting positive vibe about it. But I will admit I liked it better when I read it in my younger days – evidently am a bit more cynical now about soppy sentimental and everything turning out just right a bit much 😉 I read Burnett’s other book – Little Lord Fauntleroy first and of course fell in love with the adorable little boy – he is simply too cute :D. Book for the next book club – no idea, havent read (or even heard abt!) any of these. Would love to read one tho – thank for hosting this book club 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Uplifting vibe is the extact way to put it! Even though I’m pretty cynical too when everything turns out too right at the end of a novel, this time I wasn’t since nothing miraculous happens to the characters that would never in real life happen. It’s the characters themselves that just decide to stop brooding and start living, prompted by the beauty of nature. I found that interesting. I’ll take note of Little Lord Fauntleroy, I never heard of it!
      And thanks so much! I’m in love with books so I’m so glad to host a book club!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed this book as a little girl – Mary and Colin both got on my nerves (although I was probably as equally stroppy and bossy at that age!). I really like the themes of exploration you get in older books – ‘passages’ is one of my favourite words. The main reason Secret Garden is special to me is because it’s set in Yorkshire, and as a Yorkshire lass myself, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride, joy, whatever in reading a book set and spoken in the Yorkshire tongue! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha I can totally imagine a bossy little girl peeved by Mary and Colin’s behaviour! So funny!
      That’s so great that you share the same hometown! I didn’t mention it in my post so I’m glad you pointed out the Yorkshire tongue, because I just loved it when Dickon, Martha or Ben Weatherstaff talked. I could totally hear them in my mind.
      Thanks for stopping by, Judith! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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