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.
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.
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.
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The overall central message of the power of thought should be considered by everyone. The secondary messages of the beauty, grace, goodness and impact of a caring mother; as well as the benefit to children of living with siblings in a family (the orange analogy) are eternal truths that if followed would bless the entire human race.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
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.
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.
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