Reviews

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

lightlessxo's review against another edition

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5.0

Still loved it as much this time around as I did when I was a child!

annasan's review against another edition

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4.0

One of childhood classics I hope to pass on to my children one day. I remember that I didn’t “love it oh so much” when I first read it as child, but thinking about it now, it might stayed with me deeper than I thought.

liohnel's review against another edition

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4.0

I had last read this book about 12 years ago when I was in elementary. It still has the same charm. I think when exposing children to this book it is impertinent to address the racist aspects. It opens up the possibility to discuss the history of colonial Britain and India (as well as colonialism on a broader scale).
The book is endearing and an easy read to return to.

stephmostav's review against another edition

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4.0

E mais uma releitura, dessa vez através do incentivo do canal Ler antes de morrer, da inteligentíssima e doce Isabella Lubrano (é sério, apreciem o trabalho dela!). O jardim secreto é uma história infantil linda e esperançosa da regeneração de duas crianças mimadas, ranzinzas e indiferentes através do contato com outras pessoas, experiências e contato com a natureza, principalmente através do jardim que dá nome ao título e cuja alusão ao Éden é bem evidente. O livro tem um bocado de problemas com relação à abordagem de etnias, idealização da pobreza (fato apontado até na introdução e no posfácio) e, principalmente, à crença ingênua e até perigosa de que nossos pensamentos são capazes de sempre nos curar ou nos adoecer. Em certo trecho, até a culpa pela violência doméstica que uma mulher sofre é atribuída a ela mesma por pensar no marido como um bêbado. Contudo, ainda que isso fizesse da minha leitura cada vez mais crítica, não me impediu de me emocionar durante o processo de mudança de Mary e de Colin, de como ele se deu aos poucos, num processo satisfatório porque foi natural e cuja recompensa foi um final tão emocionante que me levou às lágrimas. A edição da Penguin-Companhia tá de parabéns por ter textos de apoio tão bons e algumas notas de rodapé necessárias - os paralelos de Dickon com Peter Pan, do romance com a tradição pastoral britânica, além das críticas sutis ao pensamento colonialista foram todos muito bem apontados. A tradução do dialeto de Yorkshire também adaptou bem a linguagem dos personagens para o português. Este é o típico livro infantil cujo encanto mágico ultrapassa as barreiras das gerações e pode comover qualquer um, em qualquer idade.

ireney5's review against another edition

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2.0

*2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge*
Prompt #28: A book recommended by a celebrity you admire (Anne Hathaway)

Phew, I might be in Korea at the moment but that let me cheat a little on this challenge because I did finished it on December 31st... if we're going by American time. Which I'm going to assume is fair because that's the time zone where I started this challenge.

Anyway, this book was charming but the two major problems I had with it were:
1. The excessive happiness in the entire last third of the book. Every page was filled with the wonder of the garden and the children and how absolutely happy they were. That gets old real fast. I don't really think of myself as a cynic, but I had to skim through the last few chapters.
2. The racism. I know this was published in a different time but I felt so uncomfortable reading certain passages, such as the following:

"Mary listened to her with a grave, puzzled expression. The native servants she had been used to in India were not in the least like this. They were obsequious and servile and did not presume to talk to their masters as if they were their equals[...] Indian servants were commanded to do things, not asked. It was not the custom to say "please" and "thank you" and Mary had always slapped her Ayah in the face when she was angry." (18%)

"I dare say it's because there's such a lot o' blacks there instead o' respectable white people." (19%)

"You don't know anything about natives! They are not people - they're servants who must salaam to you. You know nothing about India." (19%)

"Does tha' mean they've not got skipppin'-ropes in India, for all they've got elephants and tigers and camels! No wonder most of 'em's black."(31%)


These quotes are spoken by a variety of characters but mostly Mary, the spoiled protagonist (being spoiled doesn't excuse thinking of only Indian servants as non-human. She instinctively knows to not treat her English servants the same way) and Martha, her kind and good-natured maid. Again, I know that this was socially acceptable back in the day, but that doesn't mean I don't feel extremely uncomfortable reading how they talked about Indian people when I'm reading the book today.

jbabbm's review against another edition

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3.0

Is this a good story? Yes. Was Karen Gillan a brilliant narrator? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Partly. I like the happy ending and heartwarming plot, I don't have a problem with that. My problem is the fact that these kids who are cataloged as "rude, and contrary" are actually children who have been neglected by their loved ones as well as having suffered great trauma and loss throughout their lives. Furthermore, the one adult that can show them affection after all of that, doesn't do it until the very end. Perhaps, I need to reread this book without picking apart the raising and education (I'm a teacher) of Colin and Mary and give it another chance; but I honestly believe that if they had had caring parental figures the book would have a different storyline or protagonists.

samants's review against another edition

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4.0

A fun, sweet, uplifting book; but if everything was really as "queer" as the narration suggests, it would be rainbow-soaked Hayley Kiyoko dancing with drag queens in San Francisco during Pride Parade.

katealfrey's review against another edition

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3.0

I certainly understand why this book is a classic, but both Mary and Colin make me crazy. And, in my opinion, it's not nearly as well written as A Little Princess, which I've loved since childhood, and I'm now looking forward to re-reading.

charlottewilloughby's review against another edition

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4.0

This book first started off boring to me, the main character was spoilt and annoying.
However, once she finally finds the secret garden, she starts to become a much nicer well rounded (mentally and physically) person and by the end i adore Mary.

Dickon is super lovable throughout, and while Colin was meant to be worse than Mary, I didn't find him quite as annoying as her (maybe because i felt a bit bad for him regarding his dad shunning him)

Loved the book though

medusa2themax's review against another edition

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5.0

Magical.