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Editorial Reviews

This beautifully produced children's classic is narrated by the talented Josephine Bailey, whose voice is musical and elegant. This story of two lonely children finding happiness through their mutual delight in tending a neglected garden includes much dialogue, and Bailey transitions seamlessly from one character's voice to another. She easily distinguishes petulant Mary from fretful cousin Colin and captures the nuances of their wide-ranging, passionate emotions. Bailey's rendition of Colin's tantrum and the cousins' reconciliation is breathtaking. Her good-hearted Dicken, with his broad Yorkshire accent, and gruff Ben Weatherstaff are equally excellent. There are numerous productions of this story, but Bailey's is surely one of the best. Her sensitive narration makes every minute fly.
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Publisher's Summary

When Mary Lennox's parents die from cholera in India, the spoiled orphan is transplanted to her uncle's 600-year-old gloomy and secretive estate in England. She is certain that she is destined for misery at Misselthwaite Manor. When Mary meets the old groundskeeper, he is the first to tell her what he thinks of her: "We was wove out of th' same cloth. We're neither of us good lookin' an' we're both of us as sour as we look. We've got the same nasty tempers, both of us, I'll warrant." However, she soon discovers an arched doorway into an overgrown garden, locked shut since the death of her aunt 10 years earlier. Fate grants Mary access to the secret garden and she begins transforming it into a thing of beauty, unaware that she too is changing.
©2003 Tantor Media, Inc. Originally published 1911.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By ELLEN POAGE on 04-04-16

The Secret Garden

I was looking for a simple story to listen to before bed. Remembering my mother reading this to me 50 years ago I chose it. I guess I had forgotten most of the story or as a child I could not appreciate the spiritual aspects of this novel because it seemed like more than a story about a garden reclaimed. It truly is magical. The reader fascinated me with her Yorkshire dialect. Also I learn a thing or two about gardening. It failed to help me fall asleep. Highly recommend this magical book.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Catherine on 10-20-07

A magical getaway

It is undoubted that the book is a wonderful one. Burnett has an uncanny way of taking you into the mind of the characters so as to give you a full understanding of them. I also like that use of language isn't dull but isn't so extravagant that you stop believing that the story could be about a little girl. He uses just the right use of language when writing from behind each character's eyes.

As for the narrator, I love her. Her crisp accent and gentle affliction in her voice makes you feel as if you could be a small child listening to a parent or teacher read to you as you lie on the rug in front of her. Her accent also adds to the ambiance of the story, with wonderful use of dialects and those learning dialects.

I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old, looking for a magical getaway.

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30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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