Monday, July 09, 2012

The Secret Garden or WTF Ending?

I am 31 years old, and I just read The Secret Garden. Now you may think this a horrible tragedy, but I was not unaware of the story. I, like so many other kids, devoured this film version in 1993, and as with so many other watched-the-film-first works of literature, I just kinda never got around to the book. Incidentally, during most of my childhood I was wholly taken with horror novels of the R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike variety, so that's another reason I didn't tarry with Mary, Colin, and Dickon.

When Heather popped up and asked if I wanted to read a classic as a buddy read, I hopped on this opportunity. Sadly, my buddy finished FOREVER before I did (because I'm slow like that). But I'm glad she prompted me to read it because I really did enjoy this classic children's work.

For those of you even more clueless about this novel than me:
Mary is raised in India with no attention from her worthless parents. She's spoiled and given any and everything she wants by the servants at her disposal. When her parents die, she's sent to her uncles estate on the English moors: Misselthwaite Manor. There she learns not to be such a bratty, snotty little jerk because she meets a snotty little jerk just as spoiled rotten as she is. And they're good for one another. 
The parts I liked: The imagery is awesome. The writing is smooth and pleasing. There's lots of good symbolism (knowledge, Garden of Eden type stuff; also puberty/acknowledgement of the opposite sex symbolism). Yadda yadda. Very classically literary.

Now, for the part that surprised me a bit: WHAT HAPPENED TO MARY! This was Mary's story for about 85% of the book and by the end she'd been completely overshadowed by the plight of another character. LAME-O. As much as I liked seeing the characters evolve and grow, I was a little ticked that the ending seemed so abrupt and cut Mary out of the equation, essentially.

But overall, I liked more than I disliked about this book. I'm sure I would've enjoyed it as a kid and the lessons -- especially those encapsulated by the ending -- would've gone a long way with me. 

Snuggle (A chaste, polite one) -- Skewer

Edition Pub. Date: January 2012
Publisher: Halcyon Press
Format: E-book
BN ID: 2940013724839
Source: Purchased by me

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