Few children's classics can match the charm and originality of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, the unforgettable story of sullen, sulky Mary Lennox, "the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen." When a cholera epidemic leaves her as an orphan, Mary is sent to England to live with her reclusive uncle, Archibald Craven, at Misselthwaite Manor. Unloved and unloving, Mary wanders the desolate moors until one day she chances upon the door of a secret garden. What follows is one of the most beautiful tales of transformation in children's literature, as Mary her sickly and tyrannical cousin Colin and a peasant boy named Dickson secretly strive to make the garden bloom once more.
A unique blend of realism and magic, The Secret Garden remains a moving expression of every child's need to nurture and be nurtured - a story that has captured for all time the rare and enchanted world of childhood.
Public Domain ©2010 Listening Library
"This adaptation has its own special appeal. Although considerably shorter than the original, it remains faithful to the plot." (Booklist)
The performance. The narrator was reasonably competent on descriptive passages but has no skill with dialogue. Any lines where the character was displaying any sort of emotion sounded like hysteria, & attempts to give characters distinct voices came off as if someone was doing silly impressions of them (to be fair, as this is a children's book, the latter may have been deliberate as a way of amusing young listeners). Worst of all was the attempts at Yorkshire accents. They were so excruciating that I had to stop listening.
Mary finding & opening the garden door.
Finding a narrator who can actually do a Yorkshire accent would be a good start.
None. The book is fine, & I love the story.
"Hated for it to End"
My children (ages 10 and 6) and I recently listened to The Secret Garden. The narrator (Finola Hughes) was lovely. I loved her delivery of the characters' voices, especially those with Yorkshire accents. It affected my children such that they were practicing their accents and talking to each other using Yorkshire expressions in the days we were listening to the book!
The story is as rich and full of life as the secret garden itself. I longed to meet the characters personally and experience the same magic they children felt in the garden.
All three of us hated for the book to end.
"Children's classic with a great story."
It is just a great story which I had not read for decades. I truly enjoyed listening to it.
The scene when Mary confronts Collin is very memorable. That is where the story turns.
I listened to several samples before choosing this reader. She has an English accent that is very understandable and easy to listen to. It was an excellent performance for the story.
The book did make me laugh at times.
I enjoy going back and listening to a children's classic occasionally. I would definitely recommend this one.
"Read very well"
Excellent reading of this delightful book. It kept the whole family enthralled during our long car trip.
Charming and different enough from the film that it was a wonderful, sometimes surprising, listen.
As a teacher, it made me want to read it to my class.
"Ok for me"
Well... the story is fair interesting and easy to understand. She is not my favourite narrator but she is very cheerful and her overall performance is quite good.
"The Secret Garden"
The "handles" in this book are VERY LIMITED - - - because 2011 is so ADVANCED in Literary Review - - But it speaks of a time - long past - when "wishes can come true" - - despite 21st century ANYTHING!
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