My first Flashback Friday Post is going to be about one of my all time favourite books, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s a classic tale of mystery and childhood tragedy and is truly enlightening. It is beautifully written and the cover art is always stunning, no matter what edition you pick up. In case you have never read it, or just haven’t gotten round to it yet, I shall leave an excerpt from the blurb.
Mary Lennox, a disagreeable and unwanted orphan, has been brought to live in her uncle’s huge house on the Yorkshire moors. It is a bleak place, where strange sounds echo through the corridor at night, and the servants are not allowed to speak to her. Most mysterious of all is the walled garden that has no door. But Mary has found the key – so there must be a way in…
It is intriguing why this book keeps drawing me in, as the whole genre is not my preferred reading material. I prefer modern YA books and this seems far from it. Although it is a lot closer than you would think. The story follows a young girl, whose personality is less than desirable, as she grows up and develops into someone who is kind, caring and considerate. This kind of coming of age novel is common on the bookshelves of teens and whilst The Secret Garden was first published in 1910, it still holds the same values. Maybe they’ve just been updated a bit for the modern times.
Another reason why I love this book is the characters. The Yorkshire dialect of Martha and Dickon really help to add a depth to the story. The fact that their accents are so perfectly written is vital to being able to imagine the characters as if they are in front of you, and helps to set the scene. Whilst it takes a while to get used to it helps develop the characters so much more.
I have a personal connection to this book as I first read it when I was about 8. Foetus Erin was obsessed with adventure and having just moved into a new house with a rather large garden, was extremely eager to go on one. I spent days fantasising about finding a place like this. My parents were probably glad as it meant I helped to dig up the weeds. However, when I was about 12 disaster struck. I took my beloved copy into school one day and lost it. I was devastated. Thankfully my mother is wonderful and managed to buy a new copy with the exact same cover. I never did get to go on that adventure though…
I definitely recommend checking this book out if you haven’t already, or re reading it if you have. It has a beautiful story line and amazing characters that will keep you occupied for hours.
(Flashback Friday is a meme hosted by bookshelffantasies)