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Editorial Reviews

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic is a wonderfully symbolic story about children finding love and happiness through their mutual delight in the magic of nature and in each other. Much of the novel is dialogue spoken in the broad dialect of Yorkshire. American interpreter Gibson is at a distinct disadvantage. Actually, this regional language is so dynamic that it becomes itself a force for character change in the novel. As the two upper-class children open up, their stiff, upper-class speech deliberately changes to that of the relaxed musical country Yorkshire. Gibson is somewhat skilled at British dialects, but her children are too deep-voiced to be pleasing to the ear.
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Publisher's Summary

When Mary Lennox is transplanted from India to England's Misselthwaite Manor, she is utterly miserable. She spends long, lonely hours hiking across the dark Yorkshire moors, or wandering through the gardens of the manor. Then, one afternoon, the wind blows aside a curtain of ivy to reveal the hidden entrance to a previously unknown garden. The secret place takes root in Mary's imagination and the friendless girl becomes determined to find a way into the garden.
(P)1987 by Recorded Books, Inc.; Cover Art ©1992 by Karen Henrickson Sothoron
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Critic Reviews

"A blend of power, beauty, vivid interest and honest goodness. Yes, if this is magic, it is good magic." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 05-09-08

Amazing narrator

If you had an English grandmother and she whisked you away to a little cottage and read books to you every night, this is how I imagine it would sound. Her voice has a lovely texture, one perfectly suited to this story.

This was one of my favorite books growing up, and I had to reread it this year for a class and I'm very glad I chose this version. It is still captivating. If you're looking for a break from every day life, something different and yet not in the realm of fantasy, this will be an enjoyable journey.

Note: there are some slightly antiquated words and phrases, so this isn't the perfect pick for younger children who want to know what every single word means but are too impatient to discover the meaning through context. If such is the case, hand them something more modern and save this for a year or two so that they will really be able to enjoy it, or find one of the illustrated copies for them now and read it with them.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By mindy on 03-19-13

Absolutely enjoyed!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Garden to be better than the print version?

I hesitate to admit this because I like to think of myself as a traditionalist, but yes! I am a busy homeschool mom and have a new baby and I just don't have time to sit and read like I used to. This audio version allowed me to listen while cleaning, cooking, nursing etc. I really enjoyed it. Also, I couldn't properly imagine the Yorkshire accent as I read, but hearing it added such a rich quaintness and I really thought it was great.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Martha Sowersby (not sure if that's spelled correctly) because she was so kind and warm, wise and happy. Also, she raised Dickon and he's divine and lovely.

What does Flo Gibson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Honestly, the first moment I heard her reading I didn't like it because she didn't sound like I imagined, however after listening for a little while I really grew to appreciate and truly enjoy her reading. I thought she read Mary especially well and I really enjoyed her Yorkshire.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well, if you think laughing or crying is an extreme reaction to reading a book, then you aren't doing it right!! haha!! A good classic book always makes me laugh and cry and I don't consider it extreme in the least. This book is a classic for a reason. It is emotive, timeless and resonates with tremors of redemption and hope. Certainly, it has been filling the thoughts of people for years and years.

Any additional comments?

Thank you for making this purchase so economical!! If all the classics were so inexpensive I would buy them all!! >not joking< Usually audio books are cost prohibitive and I thank you for making it available. At your prices I even linked to the purchase on facebook and told friends about it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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