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Return to the Secret Garden

Return to the Secret Garden

Scritto da Holly Webb

Narrato da Maggie Ollerenshaw


Return to the Secret Garden

Scritto da Holly Webb

Narrato da Maggie Ollerenshaw

valutazioni:
4/5 (5 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Dec 6, 2016
ISBN:
9781520064796
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

The only friend Emmie Hatton has ever had at the Craven Home for Orphaned Children is Lucy, the little black kitten that visits her on the fire escape every day. But when the children of Craven Home are evacuated out of London because of the war, heartbroken Emmie is forced to leave sweet Lucy behind. The children are sent to Misselthwaite Manor, a countryside mansion full of countless dusty rooms and a kind, if busy, staff. Emmie even finds a gruff gardener and an inquisitive little robin that just might become new friends. And soon, in the cold, candle-lit nights at Misselthwaite, Emmie starts discovering the secrets of the house-a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a very secret, special garden...
Pubblicato:
Dec 6, 2016
ISBN:
9781520064796
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro


Informazioni sull'autore

HOLLY WEBB is a former children's book editor who has authored over ninety books for children published in the UK. Besides Maisie Hitchins, other series that have crossed the pond include My Naughty Little Puppy, the Rose books, the Lily books, and Animal Magic. Webb lives in Berkshire, England, with her husband, three boys, and Milly, her cat. Visit her website at www.holly-webb.com.

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3.8
5 valutazioni / 5 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Since I've yet to finish a book yet this year, I thought it was a good time to go ahead and work on the reviews that I never had a chance to post last year. Which, especially in the case of Return to the Secret Garden, is a shame. This book was absolutely adorable, and I wish I'd been on top of my reviews enough to give it the pre-release love that it deserved. On the bright side, hopefully I'm reminding some of you out there of its existence, and it will scoot up your reading lists after this review.

    First off, I feel it's only fair to explain to you that the original book is one of my all time favorites. Coupled with that, is the fact that Holly Webb is one of my all time favorite Middle Grade writers. So, you can easily see that my expectations were high here. I was so thrilled that the sequel to my favorite book would be done by one of my favorite authors. It doesn't get any more perfect than that! I was so eager to make my way back to Misselthwaite, and explore it with new eyes. I'm happy to say, I wasn't disappointed.

    Much like the Mary we remember, Emmie is a little tough to love at first. An orphan, Emmie is used to mainly caring for herself and is, as such, a bit distant. Still, I could tell right away that she was a spitfire at heart. Her deep thoughts, her love for her adopted stray cat, all of it pulled me in to her world. It wasn't obvious early on how she would be tied in to the Misselthwaite of old, but I knew she'd fit in just wonderfully.

    As it turns out, I was right. The backdrop of this book is the Blitz and it sets the stage expertly for Emmie's transition to her new home. I loved watching her go through the same kinds of feelings as her predecessor. It was that moment when she stepped into the garden though, that really had me rapt. Holly Webb evoked that same magic, the same air of sweet mystery, that the original book so wonderfully had. I ate it up. Even if the original characters hadn't been tied into this, which they absolutely are, I would have been happy just with this small piece of my childhood restored. Stepping back into the secret garden with new eyes was a wonderful feeling.

    Truth be told, I really wanted to give this five stars. It was missing this small something that I couldn't fit my finger on though, and so I settled with four. It's really a fabulous book though, and I highly recommend it as an addition to your TBR! Emmie will steal your heart and, if she doesn't succeed alone, so will your new trip into the secret garden.
  • (4/5)
    Holly Webb has written a sweet sequel to "The Secret Garden". I liked how she wove her novel around Frances Hodgson Burnett's original story and brought in the well-loved characters of Mary, Colin, Martha and Dickon. It made the book feel familiar and new at the same time. A nice read.
  • (4/5)
    It has been a long time since I read "The Secret Garden" but as I read this, a lot of it came back to me. This is a sequel but it is written in a different style and much more child friendly. Holly Webb has this story take place in 1939 when a group of orphans have been evacuated from London and are now living in Misselthwaite Hall. The theme of being abandoned and forced to move somewhere new and foreign is the same feeling that Emmie has in this book as Mary did in the original. Emmie, the main character is an orphan, or at least has no parents that claim her. She is stubborn, can be mean spirited and speaks her mind. Her only friend is her stray cat that she is forced to leave behind when they evacuate. When she finds Mary's diaries in her room, she reads them and falls in love with the Magical Secret Garden. She finds the door to the garden and it is no longer locked. She spends many hours there and begins to find solace and happiness with the flowers and the robin that lives in the hedge. When the old gardener befriends her, she tells him about her cat. Mr. Craven, who is in the navy, hears about the cat, finds it and brings it to Emmie when he is home on a visit. Emmie also befriends Jack, the Craven's son and they work magic on one another. The garden becomes their "Garden of Secrets."Emmie's character is well developed throughout the story. It is wonderful to see her go from being lonely, frustrated and angry to healing others around her and finally becoming part of something very special. It was wonderful to see the characters from the original novel in this story, all grwon up. I think the themes of loneliness, love of nature, secrets and friendship are shown and developed in this book. Now to get out the movie and watch it again with my grandchildren. A nice sequel that children will enjoy and even their parents. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
  • (4/5)
    Thirty years after Mary Lennox discovers the locked door to a walled garden, Emmie Hatton and the rest of the children at a London orphanage are evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor because of the war. Emmie is thin and sullen, much like Mary herself once was. She misses her cat, and dislikes Jack, the son of the house, who is mean and snobbish. But then Emmie discovers a diary, and a garden, and hears someone crying in the dark...Webb writes with obvious fondness for her source material, though some of the choices she makes are not the ones I would have chosen for the original characters. However, it's still fun to read and make connections. The new story is rather slight in comparison, and I don't think the book would really appeal to readers who have not read the original. But if you're a fan, it's a pleasant and sometimes bittersweet read.
  • (3/5)
    Return to the Secret Garden is by and large a loving homage to the original, rather than an exercise in cashing in on a classic. Set 30 years after Mary Lennox turned Misselthwaite Manor on its head, the book sees ten-year-old orphan Emmie Hatton being evacuated from the Craven Home for Orphaned Children as war breaks out. Separated from her beloved Lucy (a black street moggy she has befriended with fish paste sandwiches) and mocked by the heartless boys she has grown up with, Emmie arrives at Misselthwaite lonely and in much need of comfort. Like Mary before her, she finds solace in the gardens, a gruff, scarred gardener who works in them and a certain cheeky robin. If you're looking for one of those sequels that basically retreads familiar ground, we're off to a flying start. Cries in the night and a lonely young Craven boy soon get added to the mix.Holly Webb has a good turn of phrase, and the narrative embraces themes of bullying, isolation and hope as fierce, lonely Emmie Hatton learns to make connections, helping to heal a household under the shadow of war. It's perfectly decent stuff, if a little bland, and the parallels to Hodgson Burnett’s classic are unmistakable. Here’s the rub - I think the novel would have been stronger if it had been inspired by The Secret Garden, but not framed as a sequel.In claiming the mantle of a classic, you set up a world of expectation. It is of course an authorial prerogative to approach it as you wish, but as a reader I expect the author to (try and) match the tone and style of the original; I certainly expect a good deal of continuity in terms of characterisation. Sadly, this is where Webb’s novel falls short for me.The style here is thoroughly modern. One of the things I love in the original is the prose itself, which begs to be read aloud. We are taken by the hand by an entirely present omniscient narrator, who isn’t above a fair bit of preaching, but who largely shows us the characters feelings and thoughts through their dialogue - and then adds a bit of acerbic commentary of her own. Webb's sequel focuses closely on Emmie’s perspective, holding us inside her head and telling us her thoughts and feelings. There’s nothing wrong with this - it’s a more modern way of telling the story, and Emmie is a great character - but it doesn't lend itself to reading aloud as well and it results in a very different tone (not that I missed the moralising!)I think the choice to set the novel decades later is a gift. In growing up, we all expect for the original trio of children to have changed, and this gulf in time - made even larger by the impact of the Great War - neatly papers over cracks that might otherwise be too glaringly obvious. But Webb chooses to tie the two novels more closely together by having Emmie discover Mary Lennox’s diaries. Unfortunately, the diaries don’t read (to me at least) like Mary's words. Instead, they feel like a sanitised recap of that older novel for readers who are less familiar with it.I also felt that the novel didn't entirely succeed in conveying the emotional landscape of the Craven family - Mrs Craven and Jack go through the ringer here, and while there are some lovely scenes illustrating their reactions, Emmie's constrained perspective robbed me of the sympathetic punch I expected (Emmie is more concerned at being kept out of her beloved garden, and much too young to know what Mrs Craven is going through). This was particularly telling at the end, where Emmie gets her emotional resolution, but the Cravens don't.It's a shame, as this is otherwise a perfectly fine children's book about wartime and displacement - both of which I think are important themes given current events.It will probably work just fine for readers who are less judgmental (I know I'm awkward) and younger readers who will probably be delighted to revisit the Garden and the robin regardless - hell, I would have liked it just fine if I'd read it aged 10. As an adult though, it falls short of the mark.(Full disclosure seems a little redundant on this occasion, but just to be transparent: I received an advanced copy to review)