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.More
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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A magical getaway
The audio adds so much!
I am an old fan of the book, but listening to it was even better - the Yorkshire accents were a delight, and the confrontations between Mary and Colin made me laugh out loud! My kids (8 and 10) enjoyed it very much as well, and kept asking to turn it back on.
Loved Josephine Bailey as a narrator. In particular, listening to the Yorkshire accent is much more pleasant than reading the "dialect" form in the book. I thought she did an excellent job, particularly with the children's voices.
- S. J. Montgomery