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The Secret Garden

By Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

Mary’s parents fall ill and die, forcing her to be transplanted from India to the English countryside. She arrives at a strange and foreign country manor, where she discovers a long-neglected garden and hears strange sobbing noises at night.

Thus begins The Secret Garden, a children’s book with an unusually dense collection of themes, symbols, and motifs. Mary’s personal development mirrors her unraveling the secret of the hidden garden, and a subtle backdrop of magical realism adds a mysterious air to the proceedings.

Contemporary reception left The Secret Garden largely unnoticed, eclipsed by Hodgson’s other work, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Since then, however, the book’s reputation has steadily grown, with modern critics considering it one of the finest children’s books of the 20th century.

386 Reviews

Slightly Smiling Face“I listened to this book on Audible. I enjoyed reading this book. It gave me cozy vibes. When I was reading this book, I sat on the couch and covered myself up with a blanket. This is perfect to read if you want something light and fluffy to read after reading dark and heavy books.”
Believable charactersCharacters change and growMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenEasy to read
Slightly Smiling Face“I loved rereading this book! I got the nostalgia of remembering reading this with my mother over 20 years ago and the hopeful romanticism of the book itself. I also loved looking at this now as an educator and seeing a lot of interestingly relevant theories about child development in Mary, Colin, and, in a way, Dickon.”
Characters change and growCuteLikable charactersBeautifully writtenEasy to readWhimsicalBeautiful settingComing of ageFeel goodHopeful
Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes“Lovely read. A reminder that a simple life can be a rich one - fresh air, good food, nature, a skipping rope and friends can have a huge impact. The switch in focus of characters from Mary to Colin portrays a family who saved a little girl who, in turn, saved them.”
Characters change and grow
Slightly Smiling Face“What a wonderful book! I really enjoyed reading it!”
Characters change and growBeautifully writtenFloweryMind-bendingBeautiful settingEnchantingMagical settingHopefulInspirationalMemorable
Slightly Smiling Face“This book was so enjoyable! I thought the character development was great, the characters were adorable and I loved the description of the plants and animals. Makes me want to walk in nature.”
Characters change and growColorful personalitiesCuteEasy to readBeautiful settingEnchantingFeel goodHopefulLightheartedMemorable

About Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was a British novelist and playwright. She is best known for the three children's novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885–1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).

Frances Eliza Hodgson was born in Cheetham, Manchester, England. After her father died in 1853, when Frances was 3 years old, the family fell on straitened circumstances and in 1865 emigrated to the United States, settling in New Market, Tennessee. Frances began her remunerative writing career there at age 19 to help earn money for the family, publishing stories in magazines. In 1870, her mother died. In Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1873 she married Swan Burnett, who became a medical doctor. Their first son Lionel was born a year later. The Burnetts lived for two years in Paris, where their second son Vivian was born, before returning to the United States to live in Washington, D.C. Burnett then began to write novels, the first of which (That Lass o' Lowrie's), was published to good reviews. Little Lord Fauntleroy was published in 1886 and made her a popular writer of children's fiction, although her romantic adult novels written in the 1890s were also popular. She wrote and helped to produce stage versions of Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess.

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