This enchanting and energising story is about self-discovery and renewal, bringing together two stupendously spoilt and brattish but intelligent children who transform themselves, or allow themselves to be transformed, by the beneficient forces of nature and the wisdom of less privileged but better behaved people and animals.  The process involves the steady removal of oppressive secrets by a healthily over-inquisitive girl so that she and those around her can live and breathe easily.

If more adults read The Secret Garden, the drab and formulaic self-help book market might usefully implode as you can help yourself at least as much, and more entertainingly, by reading one of the finest children’s books of all time. As it is in my personal top two, please feel free to dip into a mosaic of quotations and comments in the bestellar review.  And then ease yourself into the renewal of spring by reading the book.


“Is the spring coming?” he said.  “What is it like?…”

“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth,” said Mary.


Source: Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, illus. Inga Moore (London: Walker Books, 2009), p. 144

Photo credits: Elena Ferrer and Aaron Burden at


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