The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a childhood classic that I enjoy rereading every few years.
bad-tempered Mary Lennox is orphaned, she is taken from India to the
moors of Yorkshire to live at her uncle Archibald Craven's lonely manor
house. The estate holds more than one mystery for Mary to solve, but all
of the mysteries hinge on the mysterious walled garden, locked up by
Mr. Craven ten years ago. Can Mary find a way to get in? What will she
discover there, if she does?
I think the thing that keeps me
coming back to this story is that it can be read on so many different
levels. It has a great plot that is perennially attractive to children
-- what child doesn't long to solve a mystery and discover a secret
place that is theirs alone? And if you go a little deeper, there's a lot
of fascinating character development as Mary goes from someone
completely unlikeable to a true heroine. There are interesting themes,
like the healing power of nature, the danger of living up to negative
expectations, and the importance of human connections. I'm always drawn
to this book in the springtime, and I think I always will be, no matter
how old I am. Readers of all ages will connect with this lovely story.
(Reviewed from my personally purchased copy.)