The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911

My favorite quote: “That is the Magic. Being alive is the Magic …”

Notable characters: Mary Lennox, a lonely 10-year-old; Mrs. Medlock, the housekeeper; Dickon, her friend; Colin, a sickly boy

Most memorable scene: When Mary discovers Colin

Greatest strengths: Description 

Standout achievements: Its ability to pull in readers of all ages. I was well into adulthood when I read it and I couldn’t put it down

Fun Facts: Very little is known about the development of this novel, but according to scholar Gretchen V. Rector, who examined the original manuscript, the book’s original title was Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary and the character of Susan Sowerby was originally dead. The author later X’ed out the announcement of Susan’s death and introduced her as a living character

Other media: There are multiple film, television, and theater adaptations of The Secret Garden, beginning as early as 1919 (believed lost) and continuing to present day

What it taught me: The power of setting and description. The author captures nature so vividly you almost think you’re reading the story from the point of view of the roses or the robin at times

How it inspired me: Churning in the dark corners of my mind awaits an untold tale about a magical garden — but mine will be a bad one. One that kills more than heals. Thorns that bleed you dry. Strangling vines that really strangle you. Soil that sucks you underground, disposing of the evidence and using your corpse as compost for the growth of new evil. You get the idea. I don’t have enough for an entire book there, but I did get to use the garden-gone-wrong theme in a nightmare sequence with Jason Crandall, my main character in Sleep Savannah Sleep. Good times were had by all. Except him, of course …  

Additional thoughts: This book reads like butter melts on toast and I, a fully-grown man, am not ashamed to say I love every word of it. I only wish I’d read discovered it sooner

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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