Tag Archive | Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

One of the books that had the most profound impact on my life was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A Little Princess comes in a close second, but for me… It’s always been Mary Lenox.

I’m not sure why Mary’s story struck such a cord with me. An unloved child, being shuttled far away from all she knows after the death of almost everyone. Mother, father, aya… all of them. I came from a rock solid family with lots of siblings. Although sometimes, I felt invisible.

But mostly, I just wanted a place of my own. A place to get away from everyone else. I thought it was highly unfair that Mary had to share the garden, and Dickon, with her cousin. Because a girl needs a room, or garden, of ones own. If it had been mine, I am sure, i would have guarded it jealously.

Or maybe not.

I have a brown thumb.

Still, I re-read that book on a regular basis. When I moved out, I realized that my copy got mislaid somewhere… so I went and bought another one. I’ve always wanted to write a tribute to that book, just something that gave it a little nod. Garden, a short interlude in my collection (coming out in December! Woohoo!) is more a nod to Willie Wonka than The Secret Garden.

So now… well, now… I’m gonna bend that garden. I’m going to stretch it, warp the weave, and hopefully come up with something that is completely me as well as being a nod toward something I love so much.

How do you handle paying tribute to a story that means so much to you, but still keep it in your voice? As your own story?

Gardens, Secret, Forgotten and otherwise

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I had not read any of the accolades  on this book before reading it. I picked it up because it intrigued me, quietly and simply.

I didn’t expect to be so immersed, or for it to bring up so much of The Secret Garden (by Frances Hodgson Burnett). Frances Hodgson Burnett is largely responsible for me wanting to learn how to craft a story. But more than that, to craft a story that people can fall into, fall in love with, and never want to leave.

I’m still reading her books, all these years later. They still resonate, still inspire me.

And apparently Kate Morton feels the same way about Frances. Because not only does The Forgotten Garden takes The Secret Garden, grows it up and deepens it. She adds a family history, takes the male cousin and makes it another female, shakes and stirs and just adds so much to the tradition it humbles me.

I really wish I could write like this.

But I am so glad that someone out there does, in fact, write for girls like me. Girls who want to go beyond the Secret Garden and find out the mystery of life.

Oh, and to add Burnett as a character in the novel? Near where the secret garden and the maze was?

Priceless!