The garden of love

‘Il Giardino Segreto’ (in English: The Secret Garden) is a 1910 children’s novel by the British-American writer Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The novel tells the process of maturation of two children, Mary and Colin, thanks to the care they gave to a secret garden surrounded by walls that years before had been the scene of a serious accident, as a result of which the access to the garden had been made impossible.

The message that launches the protagonist Mary is very strong and sweet at the same time, because she proves to be fragile, after the death of her parents, but also shows a lot of strength and courage in rebuilding her life from the beginning. She passes from a life of ease to a life where she spends much more time alone and must learn to be more independent.

Each of us lives death differently and each of us reacts differently to death. These different attitude emerge in the novel: on one side there is Mary who rebuilds a magical place and takes refuge there, thanks to the help of a four-legged friend and another boy; her uncle, on the other, reacts instead  very badly and pours his pain on his son, depriving him in part of the carelessness of his years.


The secret garden is much more than a simple garden and the message that it itself transmits is precisely that of strength and rebirth, because despite being abandoned for many years, it continues to shine and transmit joy to those who visit it. In fact, it will make Mary fall in love first, but then also her cousin, and for him this will be fundamental.

A novel that speaks of friendship and hope, that is able to make us dream and to make us reflect on our actions, on the weight we give to the gestures and things we have, so if we want to describe this novel and the messages it leaves the reader in a few words, surely these would be: hope, life, courage, friendship and beauty.

Beauty yes, because it teaches us that anything can become beautiful, you just have to change your point of view and realize it.

‘Il Giardino Segeto’ is a novel for children, but its message is for all adults who will read it and will pause to reflect; a book that each of us should read at least once.



Cosima Roberta Ferrara



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