What is The Secret Garden about?
The Secret Garden is a children's book about a lonely young girl who discovers, as the title suggests, a secret garden. The girl, Mary Lennox, has been isolated by her parents, and sent to live in Yorkshire, England. Her parents then die, leaving her alone. She's at loose ends and pretty unhappy, then stumbles across a locked and neglected garden. She begins to restore it, and the garden becomes both a literal way and a symbolic way for her to grow and recover from her isolation. She eventually becomes close to Colin, another isolated youngster, and helps him "blossom" as well.
Mary Lennox lives with her rich parents in India. No one has ever really cared for her; hardly anyone knows she is even there. One day a cholera epidemic breaks out and nearly everyone dies. Mary hides in the nursery and when she wakes up the next morning, there is no one left. She is sent to England where her uncle, Archibald Craven, lives. A woman called Medlock is sent to take her to the manor. Normally the 500 year old Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire moors isn’t a place for a child to grow up. There are about a thousand rooms, hundreds locked, so no one can go in. There is a big mystery about a secret garden that had been locked up ten years ago. A young housemaid called Martha has to look after Mary. First Mary doesn’t like her much, but because Martha is so nice and funny she soon starts liking her. Martha gives her a skipping rope, so Mary can play in the many gardens of Misslethwaite Manor. In the gardens she meets Ben Weatherstaff, an old gardener, and his robin. The robin becomes Mary’s first friend. He shows her the key to the secret garden and also the door hidden under thick ivy. As soon as she enters the garden, it becomes her own little mystic world. One day she hears cries and looks for the person (It isn’t the first time she has heard it, but every time she wanted to look somebody stopped her and gave her some explanation). In a room behind a tapestry she finds a boy, Colin Craven, her cousin. He can’t walk nor stand up, and everybody thinks that he’s going to die. His father has never wanted to see him because he’s so different from his dead mother. With Dickon, Martha’s brother, and Mary he goes into the secret garden in a kind of a wheel chair, and learns to walk. They all say it’s “Magic” that made all these wonders possible: Colin’s walking, Mary’s change into a nice girl and her joy in the secret garden.