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Publisher's Summary

Mary Lennox, a spoiled, ill-tempered, and unhealthy child, comes to live with her reclusive uncle in Misselthwaite Manor after the death of her parents. There, she meets a hearty housekeeper and her spirited brother, a dour gardener, a cheerful robin, and her willful, hysterical, and sickly cousin, Master Colin.

With the help of the robin, Mary finds the door to a secret garden, neglected and hidden for years. When she decides to restore the garden in secret, the story becomes a charming journey into the places of the heart, where faith restores health, flowers refresh the spirit, and the magic of the garden, coming to life anew, brings health to Colin - and to Mary, happiness.

Public Domain (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"It will rapt most children away, for after fifty years, its spell is still as strong; a blend of power, beauty, vivid interest and honest goodness. Yes, if this is magic, it is good magic." ( New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    182
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    136
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
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    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    12
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dixie
  • St, Louis
  • 03-25-10

Cynical old bag loved it

I'm in my 50s, but had never read this classic. (Saw the film and Broadway version). My usual taste is non-fiction or Ruth Rendell and other contemporary mysteries/thrillers. I LOVED IT! Beautifully written, full of insight into human nature and appropriate/inspiring for all ages. Go for it. Especially for a time when you need a good healthy dose of hope.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Glad we chose this narrator

Would you listen to The Secret Garden again? Why?

It was fun to listen to someone else read this book. I have read it many times, but had never heard the correct "yorkshire" pronunciation. The "yorkshire" is important to the book, and my experience of this book was greatly enhanced by hearing it. Reading the book can be difficult (especially for a child) because of the dialect, listening to it made all the difference.

There were so many narrators to choose from, so my 10 year old and I listened to sample after sample to narrow it down to this version. I know the story well, but the 10 year old had not read it. We could hardly stop listening.

What did you like best about this story?

In this story skinny, cranky, unlovable Mary meets spoiled, sad Collin and through their relationship with each other, and a few down-to-earth friends, heal themselves by turning their attention outward to nature. I love how the children are able to help each other, instinctively figure out what is good and healthy, and keep such a wonderful and important secret safe until they can reveal it to those who are most precious to them.

Which scene was your favorite?

I love the scene in the secret garden when Collin stands up and walks and the gardener Ben cries.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When they sang the Doxology I was very moved.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erica
  • Essex Junction, VT, United States
  • 01-24-10

As good as it used to be

On a whim I downloaded The Secret Garden for a road trip. I read it 20 years ago and loved the story, but like all things over time I had forgotten the context of the story. It was such a joy of re-discovery to go back to the Yorkshire Moors and the secret garden. The narration was superb which added to the magic of the classic story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Redding, CA, United States
  • 08-31-09

Great Book

I wish I had read this as a kid, but my school did not require much reading at all and that which was required was usually photocopied and stapled together. A sad affair, I know, however this book was wonderful, fun and made my laugh and feel great over and over again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 11-27-11

An Old Story, But Wonderful

I never read this as a child, but should have. To me, the true test of a children's story is whether it appeals across the generations. This one does. As much as it is another variation on an old theme (children, in their simpleness, being smarter than adults in helping others, such as Pollyanna), it is worth reading.

The narration was adequate. Her children voices were not the best, but all others were terrific. Talking "in broad Yorkshire" was enchanting.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

Excellent reading. Love it. Buy a new copy everytime the last one wears out

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • Westminister, CA, United States
  • 11-27-11

ENJOYABLE

This is a very endearing story and I would highly recommend it. A book for children and adults alike. I hated to see it end.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very good listen!

Would you listen to The Secret Garden again? Why?

Yes because it was a good story, simple yet not too simple, and very optimistic.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mary, she started off as a little brat, but became more and more loveable as the story progressed.

Which character – as performed by Johanna Ward – was your favorite?

None really, though she did a ok job with all the characters, I just didn't have a favorite. I did however like the general narration. But if I had to choose a character I would say Mary or Dickon.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, I seen the movie awhile back, so I kind of knew a little about it, and wasn't really suprised by anything, plus it doesn't really have any Oh dang.. moments. Though the book is a little different than the movie.

Any additional comments?

Overall good story and well produced, the only very little complaint I have about it is the album art work for it. It came in a little fuzzy (I have the 4th generation Ipod), and it just annoyed me a little bit, but please don't let that stop you from getting this audiobook. I wouldn't use a credit on it though, since a credit cost more than the book, I just bought the book itself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great version of a great book!

If you love the book you're going to love this recording. Joanna Ward does an excellent job as narrator. She keeps you wanting to keep listening!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite classics <3

I grew up with the '93 movie version of The Secret Garden, and then, in 2015, saw the stage play version. In 2016, I decided it was time to read the actual book. (Or at least listen to the audiobook.)

I enjoyed the book so much! The story is simple, but sweet, and I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the secret garden itself and the joy and healing that the children found there. t was also interesting to find out whether or not the play and movie were faithful to the book. (They both were, aside from some artistic license being taken in certain places.)

The only thing I didn't like about the book was actually something that both the movie and the play fixed: (SPOILER WARNING for the ending) In the end of the book, Archibald Craven comes home and he and everyone else find out that Colin is healthy and can walk and that's where the story ends. Colin and his father are reunited and happy. Well, that's great, but...um...what about Mary, the girl we've followed through this whole story? The girl responsible for helping all this happiness to happen? What happens to her now that Archibald is back and healed of his own "illness" of grief? He is Mary's legal guardian after all. Are we to assume that everything is now okay between him and Mary too? Apparently so, because the book doesn't bother to tell us otherwise. In both the movie and the play, they took the time to show Mary being accepted and loved by Archibald, alongside Colin.

This is literally the only thing that bothered me about the book, but not so much that it would cause me to lower my rating. The book overall is lovely, and I give it 5 out of 5 stars. The narration as well was excellent and I give it the same rating.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms N Hopwood
  • 06-15-16

Wow 10000000000 out of 100

I loved this book it is filled to the brim with exiting chapters I listen to this story every night before bed this it the 37 time I have listened to it it is grate for agess 8-14 it has so much imaganation and is so exiting my. Mum loves it and she is 51 he even watched the film P.s sorry a bout spelling I am only 9

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha-Jane
  • 12-03-15

A childhood favourite

If you could sum up The Secret Garden in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, thought provoking and comforting. This is one of my favourite books of all time and having it on audiobook forever makes it so much more accessible when I need to relax. Doing an English degree, one can get lost in the course content, but this is what I fall back on time and time again. It was one of the first books I read independently and therefore it will always mean something to me. It was beautifully read with the correct emotion for each character.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Garden?

I loved the moment when colin walks for the first time. As a person with a disability, I know how liberating this is. Having that read to me was very very comforting.

Any additional comments?

I loved every minute of this and would recommend to everyone to read or listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha Clarke
  • 02-20-16

Fantastic read. Well narrated.

Having never read this as a child it's been on my TBR for a while. Johanna Ward's narration is excellent. She really brings Mary in particular to life. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Matthew Dalton
  • 11-07-15

Amazing

That is so wonderful I could live off it I would recommend it to enyone

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 07-26-15

Wonderful hearing this well loved story come alive

If you could sum up The Secret Garden in three words, what would they be?

Magical, reminiscent, endearing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Garden?

The final chapter when Archibald Craven has his 'awakening' travelling in Europe.

What about Johanna Ward’s performance did you like?

The accents and tone of voice were right for the different characters.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It certainly made me smile several times.

Any additional comments?

I read this as a child. Listening to it as an adult (in my 40s) brought much of my first reading back to me. A joyful experience listening to it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Tilsley
  • 09-03-14

Loved it

I first saw the film years ago when I was a child. I loved it then, but I'd never read the book. I'm glad that I have, the film and the book (from what I remember if the film) follow closely with each other. I really enjoyed reading this and the audible version is great too. A real classic that I will be sure to read again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • v
  • 10-13-13

enjoyable

Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret Garden to be better than the print version?

My son was reading this at school and did not understand it so we got the audio and the whole family listened and really enjoyed the story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neal
  • 12-06-16

Charming children's story

I listened to this with my 9 year old daughter. Initially on a long car journey, but we didn't finish it in the car so we finished it over several bed-times. It was innocent, charming and the pictures painted so vividly by the beautiful writing. I would recommend this classic for children and adults to enjoy together.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • on-line-shopper
  • 07-03-16

beautiful uplifting enchanting

Beautiful book sometimes thought of as a childs story but definitely for all ages, magical.. Read well by Johanna ward.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kamila
  • 04-14-16

magic is in the story :)

very nice yorkshire accent. the narrator was good, very enjoyeble to listen. like it much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful