For the first nine years of her life, Mary Lennox was a mean, spoiled, and sickly English girl growing up in India. But when tragedy strikes her family, she is sent off to live at her uncle Archibald's giant manor in Yorkshire. No longer surrounded by servants, Mary finds herself alone in a big and scary new world. That is, until she finds a garden that's been locked away for years...
Heavily influenced by the premature losses in author Frances Hodges Burnett's life, including both her father and her son, The Secret Garden is an unforgettable story about the healing power of nature. Addressing themes of pain, love, death, selflessness, and inner peace, this classic proves that children's literature can be just as complex and profound as adult literature.
Soothing and mellifluous, native Briton Bailey's voice proves an excellent instrument for polishing up a new edition of Burnett's story. Bratty and spoiled Mary Lennox is orphaned when her parents fall victim to a cholera outbreak in India. As a result, Mary becomes the ward of an uncle in England she has never met. As she hesitantly tries to carve a new life for herself at imposing and secluded Misselthwaite Manor, Mary befriends a high-spirited boy named Dickon and investigates a secret garden on the Manor grounds. She also discovers a sickly young cousin, Colin, who has been shut away in a hidden Manor room. Together Mary and Dickon help Colin blossom, and in the process Mary finds her identity and melts the heart of her emotionally distant uncle. Bailey makes fluid transitions between the voices and accents of various characters, from terse Mrs. Medlock and surly groundskeeper Ben to chipper housemaid Martha. And most enjoyably, she gives Mary a believably childlike voice. A brief biography of the author is included in an introduction. Ages 6-12.