Tag Archives: classic literature

Review: The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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

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Review: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables  (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anne is one of the greatest literary characters of all time.

I laughed throughout the whole book. I particularly loved the scene where Anne, still a child, puts flowers in her hat on the way to church, thinking it would be beautiful. She then spent her Sunday day walking around with dilapidated buds drooping above her head. It’s something I could easily see one of my sisters doing at that age.

The voices were each unique in their own way. I thought Montgomery’s handling of Anne’s prideful refusal of Gilbert’s plea for friendship to be a wonderful way of holding out the tension until the last page of the story.

There is a fantastic, free audio recording of it on librivox.org here: http://bit.ly/l4US2f
It’s read by perhaps my favorite librivox reader, Karen Savage.

Five stars for its outstanding character and storyline!
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Review: A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two CitiesA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has many merits and few faults.

I loved the characters. Miss Pross was especially my favorite. Her introduction stuck out in my memory:

"Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also knew her by this time to be, beneath the service of her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures–found only among women–who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives. He knew enough of the world to know that there is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint, he had such an exalted respect for it, that in the retributive arrangements made by his own mind–we all make such arrangements, more or less– he stationed Miss Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than many ladies immeasurably better got up both by Nature and Art, who had balances at Tellson’s."

This was such a wonderful observation that it caused me to suddenly gain admiration for so many women.
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