book review

Day 13: The Secret Garden #NHBPM

Today’s prompt is to share my favorite book and talk about how it ties into my health or my life. My favorite book does both.

My great grandma had MS for many many years. For most of the time I can remember her, she was in a motor scooter – which definitely frustrated her but she turned it into a plus by doing fun things like pretending we were racing cars in my backyard with me and my sister.

One of my only real memories of her before the scooter became a permanent fixture in her life was a visit to the movie theater to see The Secret Garden. The story – whether it be book or movie – always reminds me of her, her tenacity in the face of her illness. It also reminds me of how dangerous it can be to only focus on being sick and that I need to remember to – wait for it – stop and smell the flowers.

The story focuses around a little British girl, Mary, who lived with her parents in India. Her parents were very wealthy and so Mary was raised mostly by servants until the day cholera hit their home. Mary’s parents and many of the servants died. She then has to move back to England to live with her uncle, whom she has never met and is kind of a dick who travels like constantly.

He’s a dick cause his wife died and he decided to hide everything they enjoyed together because it was too painful for him. Eventually, Mary finds out about two of these hidden things – the garden her uncle and dead aunt tended together and their son whom everyone says is very ill. His father has not really ever spent time with him, most likely because of how similar he looks to his mother. The child is ‘so sick’ that he doesn’t see anyone but his nurses and his uncle, a doctor. The child is convinced that he will die he is so ill.

Mary is eventually able to bring the garden back to life and, due to the son’s somewhat princely stature, he is able to get outside and help tend the garden. Being out and about in the end eventually helps him to feel much better. The uncle/father is led to the garden and, despite the fact that he should be pissed beyond all belief, he is pleased – both to see his son well and the garden beautiful again.

You should really find the movie, if only to see Maggie Smith be a hard ass as the main caretaker of the children and the house. She’s like 80 times as badass as in the book but I just assume that’s what Maggie brings to every character.

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