Librivox Book Club: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Bu

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miss stav
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Post by miss stav » January 22nd, 2012, 7:37 am

Until the begining of March we will be listening to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The two versions of the book are:
http://librivox.org/the-secret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett/
and
http://librivox.org/the-secret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett-version-2/
Please read the book and post your thoughts here. You can say bad things about the book, but not about the reading. Please discuss what ever you want, this book is full of interesting aspects.
Last edited by miss stav on January 22nd, 2012, 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Love gothic novels? Try Children Of The Abbey. Like surprising mysteries? Try The Amathist Cross. Looking for an easy read? Try Harriet's Choice.

Norton
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Post by Norton » January 22nd, 2012, 9:48 am

miss stav wrote:Until the begining of March we will be listening to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The two versions of the book are:

and
https://librivox.org/the-secret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett-...
Please read the book and post your thoughts here. You can say bad things about the book, but not about the reading. Please discuss what ever you want, this book is full of interesting aspects.
Odd. http:// versions of these URLs work, but the https versions give me a 404. The second link also looks to be malformed.
http://librivox.org/the-secret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett-version-2/
http://librivox.org/the-secret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett/
"It is time for more... [i]experiments.[/i]"

miss stav
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Post by miss stav » January 22nd, 2012, 11:45 am

Thank you!
Love gothic novels? Try Children Of The Abbey. Like surprising mysteries? Try The Amathist Cross. Looking for an easy read? Try Harriet's Choice.

Nullifidian
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Post by Nullifidian » February 7th, 2012, 9:09 am

I'm a little bogged down with audiobooks right now, but I'll try to get around to this recording. (I have Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout and The Inimitable Jeeves from the library, as well as MP3 audiobooks of Henning Mankell's Faceless Killers and On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. Albeit the latter two I can read in physical book form as well.) Maybe I'll download it Saturday, when I'll be going on an hour-long drive out of town to meet up with a friend.

I've listened to a short clip, though, and there's absolutely nothing bad that can be said about Karen Savage's reading. :thumbs:

Kristingj
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Post by Kristingj » February 7th, 2012, 9:57 am

I finished listening to this book some days ago, and I have to admidt I was unsure if I should listen to it or not. I have read it once before, in Norwegian, and thought I remembered the important parts. How wrong I was! I had the outmost please of listening to Karen Savage, and I enjoyed it immensly. The shift to accents were great, and I couldn't wait to listen again. Lovely book and lovely recording :D

miss stav
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Post by miss stav » February 7th, 2012, 11:01 am

Thanks, Kristin.
After listening to it again as an adult, do you feel it's only a children's book?
as I said in a post about this before, I found this book ful of overtones. One of the aspects that I looked at while reading this book is the role of parents and adults in it.
Love gothic novels? Try Children Of The Abbey. Like surprising mysteries? Try The Amathist Cross. Looking for an easy read? Try Harriet's Choice.

Lucy_k_p
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Post by Lucy_k_p » February 7th, 2012, 5:09 pm

I listened to the Karen Savage version as well, because it was shorter and I like a fast reader. It was very well read and the character voices are excellent. Just the right level of emotion is injected. (I'm sure Kayray's version is also fantastic.)

I think I saw quite a few TV versions of this as a child but I don't think I read the full novel - just short adaptations for very young readers. One of my drama groups worked on a stage version for a while, but it was never performed. (I was Ben Weatherstaff.)

I did read the full novel a year or two ago though - I won a set of 12 children's classics in a competition.

I do enjoy it, and there are quite a few things I'd like to talk about in more depth when I have the time to type up a post - how Mary is not typically feminine, how the novel starts off being about Mary and switches to Colin, how 'magic' is used to explore religion and whether Mary is more likely to fall in love with Colin or Dickon.

But there is one small moment which jars me out of my enjoyment and makes me want to keep this book away from any children that I have:

IF A MAN GETS DRUNK AND BEATS HIS WIFE IT IS NOT HER FAULT. IT IS ESPECIALLY NOT HER FAULT IF HIS PROBLEM IS SHE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT HIM BEING AN ABUSIVE DRUNK. A MAN WHO BEATS HIS WIFE WILL ALWAYS FIND AN EXCUSE FOR DOING IT - SHE CAN NEVER BE 'GOOD' ENOUGH TO AVOID IT OR MAKE HIM STOP. IT IS THE MAN WHO HAS TO CHANGE HIS BEHAVIOUR.

I could rant further about this but I don't want to fill people's screens with capslock rage.

Old novels that I enjoy always seem to have a moment like this - in The Railway Children we inexplicably switch from Bobby's POV to spend a short scene with Peter and the Doctor where the Doctor explains that women are weaker than men and should be treated accordingly.
So little space, so much to say.

miss stav
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Post by miss stav » February 7th, 2012, 11:33 pm

There is another version of this book, read by Ashley, which I pled. I will try to link to it. If the link works, I'll coppy it to the first post:
http://librivox.org/the-seecret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett-2/
Lucy, as to falling in love... I think Mary will marry Colin, since they are on the same soshal class and both of them will be too strange for everyone elce when they become adults. When I have children, I'll let them read this book only at the age of about 9 or 10, when they will be able to understand that Mary and Colin's childhood is not a modle for a good and happy childhood.
I don't think she'll fall in love with Decon. She will look upon him as a guide, a big brother porhaps.
Love gothic novels? Try Children Of The Abbey. Like surprising mysteries? Try The Amathist Cross. Looking for an easy read? Try Harriet's Choice.

jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » February 14th, 2012, 11:27 am

I'm only to Chapter 9, but I read this when I was around ten or twelve.

I think its important to confront children of an appropriate age with the mistakes of the past. It provides an opportunity to explain how/why things are they way they are, why they were wrong in the past, and why its important to treat others with respect. On top of that, this sort of abuse still occurs all over the world every day. Its important to teach children that this kind of behaviour still lurks in society, and thats why its important to be kind, and attentive, to listen when a schoolmate looks hurt, etc.

That said, I dont ever recall the "beating" scene thats being referred to, and I haven't gotten to it yet. It obviously either didn't occur to me as a kid, or didn't make a strong impression. A lot of the times adults notice those things more than the kids ever will.
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jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » February 14th, 2012, 11:30 am

Also, sometimes I feel so bad for Mary I get all choked up. The first chapter gave me the absolute chills with her being found all alone in the house. Absolute shivers.
duck... duck... ZOMBIE!

miss stav
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Post by miss stav » February 14th, 2012, 1:47 pm

I totaly agree with you.
To tell you the truth, I don't think I remember the beeting seen, but now I recall on which chapter it could akair.
Mary's mother treetment of her was horable!
I don't know. Sometimes I think it's good to show young children (about 9 or 10) that there is abuse, but on other times I wish them to stay oblivious to that until the age of about 12.
Love gothic novels? Try Children Of The Abbey. Like surprising mysteries? Try The Amathist Cross. Looking for an easy read? Try Harriet's Choice.

jollyrogered
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Post by jollyrogered » February 14th, 2012, 2:29 pm

We havent had children in our family for soooo long about fifteen years. My cousin is 15, and he is the youngest, so some times I forget at what age its appropriate to introduce more difficult concepts.

This has been fun becuase every chapter I switch to a different version of the books. I love all three readers so much I didnt want to miss a thing!
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annise
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Post by annise » February 14th, 2012, 3:55 pm

I do think children in general just take waht they want from books and that in fact they often prefer things that are more real life and not all "fluffy bunny like" . The first book my son brought home for about 3 weeks running from school for us to read was about grandma going to hospital and dying - and I read it to him every night> I did gently ask had he thought of picking another one - but he said he liked this one.

As for Lucy
IF A MAN GETS DRUNK AND BEATS HIS WIFE IT IS NOT HER FAULT. IT IS ESPECIALLY NOT HER FAULT IF HIS PROBLEM IS SHE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT HIM BEING AN ABUSIVE DRUNK. A MAN WHO BEATS HIS WIFE WILL ALWAYS FIND AN EXCUSE FOR DOING IT - SHE CAN NEVER BE 'GOOD' ENOUGH TO AVOID IT OR MAKE HIM STOP. IT IS THE MAN WHO HAS TO CHANGE HIS BEHAVIOUR.

I didn't remember that bit at all , so I went back and text hunted. I didn't take it as saying it was the wife's fault at all - I took it as saying if you want to change a situation maybe you should try and change your approach . At the moment here we are having anti gambling ads which say that telling the gambler they are stupid and have spent all the money and the children are starving may be true , but if you want to try and get them to stop maybe it isn't the way to go. Now the first part is exactly how you probably feel - but the yelling probably won't help so I guess you are stuck with leaving or trying to change the behaviour somehow.

I loved the book as a child and have listened to all 3 versions . I'm sure on my first readings I missed out on the deeper bits behind the story - both of the children were treated apalling reading it as an adult.

Anne

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Post by NolanFout » February 14th, 2012, 8:49 pm

I have to say that after reading the book when I was younger, about three times :) I found Collin VERY bratty and Mary's life a journey from being an emotional wreck to actually being able to love other things beside herself. I felt it had a good messege in some ways, the sickly girl and the "imaginary hump" boy kind of always creeped me out. The moor boy (Dillian?) I always wanted to be like him in the way he treated people.
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Post by DebraLynn » February 15th, 2012, 1:22 am

annise wrote:I do think children in general just take waht they want from books and that in fact they often prefer things that are more real life and not all "fluffy bunny like"
I'm just downloading the book now, but I've read it quite a few times over the years. I just wanted to comment on the "age appropriate" thing.

Before I was old enough to read, my mother read to me. There was one story that I remember asking her to read over and over again. It was called "The Boy With the Long Name." I believe the setting was China and supposedly there was a custom that the longer a person's name, the longer they would live. So they gave their first born son a ridiculously long name, and I loved to hear my mother say it. It was repeated a lot during the story because every time they referred to the boy, they said his whole mile long name. Well, the thing is that the boy fell in the well and the person who saw it had to tell so-and-so and that person had to tell another person, and on and on until finally they got hold of a ladder and returned to the well. I'll never forget the final lines of the story: "By the time they got to the well <long name> was quite, quite dead. He had drowned while they were saying his name."

As a child, I loved that story and wasn't creeped out by it at all, but as an adult I find it horrifying. So, I don't worry too much about what the kids enjoy. They'll learn to freak out about it when they're older. LOL

-Debbie
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