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The Secret Garden | [Frances Hodgson Burnett]

The Secret Garden

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. However, she soon discovers an arched doorway into an overgrown garden, locked shut since the death of her aunt 10 years earlier.
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Audible Editor 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.

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (150 )
5 star
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4.5 (84 )
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Story
4.4 (84 )
5 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Catherine Villa Park, CA, USA 10-20-07
    Catherine Villa Park, CA, USA 10-20-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 07-06-07
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 07-06-07 Member Since 2015

    Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    598
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    102
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    "Excellent recording, beautiful story"

    This is one of my favorite books from childhood which has also become a favorite of my daughter's. We loved this recording to which we have listened several times as the narrator is terrific, reads at a perfect speed with excellent expression and really captures the beauty of the story and the characters. For anyone trying to interest a child in reading there are few authors who have remained as enchanting through so many generations as Frances Hodgson Burnett!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. J. Montgomery Arizona, USA 02-14-13
    S. J. Montgomery Arizona, USA 02-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The audio adds so much!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Secret Garden the most enjoyable?

    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.


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

    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.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Sherman Oaks, CA, USA 06-16-09
    Christina Sherman Oaks, CA, USA 06-16-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    2
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    "Enjoyed it even more as an adult"

    This was one of my favorite stories growing up and I found a new level of enjoyment listening to it as an adult with my children. It's a beautiful story and sure to enthrall any child with its unusual characters and emphasis on nature. The reader is superb and we loved her Yorkshire accent. I found the book to be funnier than I remembered as a child - in part because it's read so well. When the book ended there was silence and misty-eyes all around.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe K. 10-18-08
    Joe K. 10-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow, what a great story!"

    I don't know how I missed reading this when I was young, but I sure am glad I finally did. This story, about 3 young children, is positively a must read. It is a wonderful example of the benefits of goodness. If you haven't already read it, please give it a try. If it's been a while since you read it, it's worth another read!
    The reader did a wonderful job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loy 04-20-07
    Loy 04-20-07

    Born to read

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "favorite book"

    just love this book, I have read it, watched it and now listened to it.

    One of the best

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 05-15-15
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 05-15-15 Member Since 2011

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "The Roses of Life"

    Mary's parents have died in India from cholera. She moves to England to live with an uncle who is always traveling and stays away from home for long stretches at a time. While living in India, Mary, age 10, had no concept of how to interact with people. Mary always gave the orders and the men and women did as she said. When she arrived at her new home, the house staff shook their heads and thought, now we will have two tyrants living here, instead of just one.

    Colin, age 10, grew up giving orders and the staff were told to obey him under any and all circumstances. His mother had died in childbirth and his father rarely was in his company. He blamed Colin for the death of his beloved and after ten years still roamed the world trying but never finding an answer how to live life without her.

    Mary met a young boy of 12, Dicken, who loved life, loved being outside roaming the moors and making friends with people and animals alike. When he and Mary met, it was Dicken who subtly taught Mary, over time, how to get along with people of all kinds and the creatures who lived on the moor.

    The three children became close friend's and spent their time together, in a very special place, where roses of every color and variety grew, along with flowers of all different kinds. Birds built their nests there and other animals made the rose garden their home.

    The spring and summer of that year, Dicken became the special one who was able to bring the best of Mary and Colin that they had to give of themselves, to live in a world of love and beauty.

    The book was an easy listen. The story was pleasant and emulated what the world has to offer if a person will open his heart and follow its lead. The narrator was excellent and added substance to the story. The coming of age does happen differently for Mary and Colin and that was a blessing for all concerned. The world in which they now lived was filled with laughter and fun. The book is worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lela Roby 05-07-15
    Lela Roby 05-07-15
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    "Couldn't love it more"

    SO much better than the movies. lotened to it every day while I worked in mY garden. Delightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goran 04-24-15
    Goran 04-24-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Joy"

    I got this book on the back of 2 or 3 disappointing books. It had been in my wish list for a while, so I figured what the heck.

    I am not the sappiest person in the world, but this little work of magic had me grinning from the first until the last minute. This is a very simple book, but it is by far one of the most charming and heart-lifting stories I have ever read. The wonderful Josephine Bailey elevates the whole thing to an even higher dimension.

    This is a true gem that I cannot recommend highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dayton Seattle, WA 04-18-15
    Dayton Seattle, WA 04-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    "delightful listen"

    I read this book when I was a child, how lovely to revisit it in this format. Lush descriptions of simple joy and reminders that we all create the type of life we want, you have the power to change your perception merely by changing your thoughts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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