Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Secret Garden

This book is beautiful. Beautiful is the perfect word for this book.

I think most people know the story – I vaguely remember seeing the movie several years ago when it was on tv, I think with professor Mcgonagall (aka the wonderful Maggie Smith). A little 10-year-old girl called Mary lives in India with her parents when they die of Cholera. Since she was such a brat, none of the staff thought of saving her when they fled the household, and eventually she is sent to her godfather in England (but not before a temporary stay in a foster home where the other children call her ‘Mistress Mary Quite Contrary’). Her godfather lives in a castle with a hundred locked rooms on the moor, and there doesn’t seem like there’s much to do for Mary. Eventually she decides to go out in the gardens, even though it’s winter. It is there that she becomes a happy, strong child, no longer quite contrary but a laughing one who loves to see the green sprouts grow.

I could really relate to the story, because the garden we have at home is big enough that I could always find a hiding spot. A couple of years ago when I flunked journalism and had existential crisis #1 I spent a whole day digging and planting and trimming, not feeling the need to say anything about what was bothering me. There is something about maintaining a garden that just soothes. Having your fingers crusted with dirt and your knees green with grass stains usually makes me so Zen that I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a therapy like that somewhere.

I recommend this book for everyone, although I guess there’s a slight warning for dialect dialogues which took some concentration to figure out here and there. If you want to give it a go, read it in February/March, when the green buds are only just showing.

You might want to get yourself a shovel and a rake after you finished reading it.

Until next time,


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