My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Beautiful characters and some magical scenes. The only thing that I didn’t like about it was that the story ‘ends’ half-way through, but then continues on and on and on.
A brief account: The story is about an acerbic young girl named Mary who, upon the unexpected death of her parents, is sent to live with her miserable hunchback of an uncle in his prodigious estate. There she learns of a mysterious garden which was locked up long ago because of the death of her effervescent aunt, the hunchback’s wife. By a series of magical events the young girl finds the secret garden and, once inside, begins building a garden of her own. As she builds the garden she gradually changes from being a sour little child to a delightful one and helps heal a few other people’s hearts as well.
My favorite character was Dicken, the boy animal-charmer who plays on a Peter-Pan-esque flute, and it was only in hopes of seeing more scenes with him that I managed to make it through the story.
Among all the scenes, my favorite was the screaming argument that Mary starts in response to Collin’s temper tantrum. It was hilarious to watch the two spoiled children battle each other to see who has the better ‘mean-streak,’ and then watch how they become aware of themselves thereafter and grow to be friends.
I can only give it three stars because of the unending plethora of story-resolutions, but I can recommend it. My advice would be to stop at or around the scene where Collin gets out of his wheel chair for his first walk, then skip to the last two pages.
Karen Savage––best audiobook narrator in the world for this genre––did a fantastic recording of it which can be downloaded for free at: http://bit.ly/qubGJt