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Publisher's Summary

When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. But this lonely girl's life is transformed when she finds the key to the secret garden.

Public Domain (P)2016 Essential Audiobooks LLC

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Outstanding Update to Beloved Classic!

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The audiobook of the Secret Garden narrated by Pearl Hewitt is an outstanding and much needed update to the children’s classic. Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911, it tells the tale of Mary who is orphaned after her parents are both killed by cholera in India. She travels to Yorkshire to live at her much absent uncle's estate. Always thought of as a troublesome and sickly girl, Mary thrives in the Yorkshire Moors and surrounding gardens, with the help of a grouchy gardener, a robin, and one of the servant’s younger brothers.

Listening to this again after reading it about 30 years ago, I’m reminded how gothic it feels in parts. For example, Mary frequently hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Is this a ghost, her uncle, or just the sound of the wind rolling through the Moors? [I couldn’t help but remember the mysterious sounds that Jane Eyre hears in Thornfield]. About half-way through the book, we discover the sound is from Mary’s invalid cousin, Collin. Obviously spoiled like a prince with frequent temper-tantrums, Collin orders everyone about and staff walk on pins and needles around him. Mary takes none of it and puts him in his place. She challenges him to go outside with her and let the magic of the gardens and nature heal his soul (and body). The ending is one of the best written ever!

Pearl Hewitt did an absolutely outstanding job narrating this book. She provided distinct and consistent voices for all characters, young and old. She has a spunk and sassiness in her readings that make listening very enjoyable. Brava!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully Narrated Classic

The Secret Garden is the story of Mary Lennox, a disagreeable child orphaned when her parents die of cholera. She's sent to Yorkshire to live with her uncle in a house with a hundred locked rooms and a mysterious locked garden.

This timeless classic really needs no introduction, it's a wonderful story that has been enjoyed by generations. It has something for everyone, a bit of gothic mystery, a coming of age journey, descriptive passages for a poet's soul, and the charming characters that make it such a classic children's tale. It even spells out the power of positive thinking like any best-selling self help book.

I think what I love best about this book is watching the two neglected little children, starved for love and attention, find happiness in their garden. One of my favorite scenes is when Martha buys Mary the skipping rope. The fact that someone thought of her, remembered her, and bought her something is just so foreign to Mary. It's a subtle scene that really shows how unloved she's been all her life, and how much such tiny things matter to a child.

I don't remember the first time I read The Secret Garden, but I do remember receiving my first hardback copy. I refused to open my other Christmas presents and just sat there looking at the beautiful illustrated pages. Listening to this version brought back that feeling. There's just something special about audiobooks, the narration, if well done, can bring the book to life. Pearl Hewitt manages to do just that. She has the perfect accent for the book, and her regular speaking voice is so pleasant. She performs the Yorkshire accents well and gives each speaker a distinct voice. In the beginning, Mary is unpleasant, and her speaking voice reflects that, but it becomes more warm as Mary herself changes. It was really skillfully done. I received a copy of the audiobook and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. I will definitely be listening to this one again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Completely mesmerized by the narrators character voices.

What a beautiful classic but this narrator completely captivated me by the use of her character voices - so uniquely innocent and sweet! I was swept up in the story like none other I've heard. I will definitely listen to this one over and over and will look for more from Pearl Hewitt!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Truly captured the character

Amazing story it was explained exactly like the movie it enlighten me as I was in the garden myself truly wonderful

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Pearl Hewitt keeps this classic fresh

This was my favorite child's book growing up, so I was hesitant to get the audiobook. What if the narrator didn't sound like the way I imagined the voices growing up?

Then Pearl Hewitt gave me a copy in return for an honest review. And I still hesitated. What if the characters sounded more like the Regency Romance novels I've heard her narrate?

At last, I turned the book on one night, figuring I'd let it lull me to sleep. And stayed up WAY too late listening. Ohmigosh! The characters came alive! I was lost on the moors. I was hearing bits I'd forgotten (childhood being a ways off these days). Why did I ever worry?

Pearl Hewitt is one of the best narrators out there. She totally picked up the voice of the old book and gave the characters just enough regional accent that this American could hear the difference without making them as incomprehensible as they really are to anyone watching BBC from the States. I actually jumped when the sleep timer turned the book off!

Suddenly my childhood favorite is completely new and exciting again. Quite something for an adult woman to admit. My only complaint was the music the editors used to transition between chapters. Totally annoyed me to have it interrupt the flow of the story. A minor quibble, but hope that trend quietly vanishes.

I'll be listening for anything Pearl Hewitt narrates. Sneaky woman, giving me a review copy. Who knew a child's book would be my gateway drug to other audiobooks?!

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Wonderful storytelling.

I love this book and have read it several times. Pearl Hewitt's narration is clear and expressive. Her investment in the story and the telling of it is obvious and I was drawn into the narration as if it were being read only for me. All the characters are drawn most believably and their feelings are never unclear in the way they speak. (her Yorkshire accent is particularly authentic). All in all it's a terrific rendering of a beautiful, classic story.

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Wonderful Narration

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite stories from my childhood. Pearl Hewitt's narration brings the story to life. The character's voices are so distinct that it is easy to tell who is speaking. I could easily picture the scenes as they were happening. The emotions of the characters were easily discernible. I highly recommend this narration of The Secret Garden.

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Great book

This audibook is great ! It's A Lovely Classic Book !This book didn't disappoint.Audiobook read by Pearl is awesome !

Book teaches that live is not all about you and that people are just people.

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Timeless story, wonderful narration

This classic piece is lovely; the writing delightful and the narration captivating.
Pearl Hewitt absolutely made this story shine. Her narration is spot on, and most especially the parts that require a Yorkshire dialect. Her seamless narration is truly a treat to be savored. Pearl easily transitions between characters, allowing listeners to completely lose themselves in the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Secret Garden. At first, I was unused to the use of music between chapters, but I found myself looking forward to it. It gave it a unique and timeless feel.

If you enjoy classics, this one will not disappoint!

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Magnificent adventure in to an old favorite

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

When I think about classics stories like "The Secret Garden", I'm reminded of my childhood and how reading these books when I was young made me feel, how they captivated my imagination and how I envisioned the world and characters in my head. "The Secret Garden" is very precious to me as I loved it dearly as a child and I honestly was nervous upon first getting this audiobook. Would it live up to my childhood expectations? Would the narrator really be able to get inside the characters and breathe life into them so wholly that I could see them in my mind's eye without distraction?

The answer is yes to all. Pearl Hewitt's narration was simply superb. Honestly, there isn't one thing bad I can say about it. It's obvious she's a true Brit and her Yorkshire accent was so charming. Her narration was softly narrated like a Mary Poppins telling me a bedtime story with such grace and care for the story and the characters but also not afraid to inflect emotion and excitement when warranted. My favorite thing about Pearl's narration though was how she truly captured Mary, Mary, quite contrary! Such a curious child, so petulant at first, but the narrator is able to capture Mary's growth as she discovers there is more to this boring house than she once thought and more to herself than she once knew. That the garden and others she has met is filled with secrets.

The audio quality was very good and I would highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who would listen. I would not be surprised if I listened to it again.

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  • mama panda
  • 06-22-17

Unabridged

The story is of course beautiful! Our family children aged, 4,6&8 thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.

We enjoyed the narrator, her Yorkshire accent was a lovely bonus. We would have given it five stars if it wasn't for the music accompanying each chapter. We found the music both annoying and unnecessary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful