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Paperback Misselthwaite Book

ISBN: 0340640251

ISBN13: 9780340640258


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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Millions of readers have experienced the magic of, and the memorable characters of Colin, Mary, and Dickon. Return to the Secret Garden is the marvelous continuation of that tale, following the lives...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Sad Stories With Tragic Endings

*Spoilers* Misselthwaite by Susan Moody is the unofficial sequel to the classic children's novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. While the latter is a kid friendly, magical story of three young children who discover a secret garden, decide to revamp it, and grow along with the roses, the former is a heartbreaking story about the same three children as they age from young adulthood to middle age and beyond. Pinch-faced, disagreeable Mary has become a beautiful young woman with quaint manners and hoards of admirers, including her own cousin Colin, and her best friend, Dickon. She gets caught up in the world of wealth and scandal all the while wanting nothing more than to love the man of her dreams who knows nothing of either. Colin is an educated but rowdy young man who is gearing up to inherit Misselthwaite and all of his (now very loving and attentive) father's assets. Late in the novel it is revealed that Colin questions his sexuality, or rather hides it, even though he becomes Mary's second husband. Animal charmer Dickon returns from the First World War, to the surprise of everyone around him who thought him to be dead, changed and darker, with night terrors and a blank look in his eyes. He loves Mary, and although his love is not exactly unrequited, his poor social status prevents her from wanting anything permanent with him, although as she grows older and wiser she learns to regret this decision. The story is quite well written but unbelievably sad. The last one-hundred pages are written like a Shakespearean tragedy. Ultimately, if you loved the Secret Garden as a child you will love this book as an adult. By the end you will feel like all the ends are tied and there are no questions left to be answered about Mary, Colin, and Dickon.

I may be in the minority here, but...

I basically liked it. Some people have said that th Mary, Colin and Dickon characters in this book have nothing in common with their characters in "The Secret Garden." In response to that, I must say that at the age of twenty-one, I'm entirely different from the person I was at the age of ten. People change as they grow up. I can completely see the children in The Secret Garden becoming the adults portrayed in Return. For instance, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that Dickon would develop PTSD from his involvement in the War. I actually think that the Dickons of the world would be much more emotionally damaged by war than the Marys and the Colins of the world (hypothetically speaking of course). Dickon had lived in a world where he's always been happy, healthy and loved. Prior to the war, he had never known the world to be anything other than a friendly place. The atrocities of war would have been an immense shock for him. Mary and Colin, on the other hand, had endured horrendous childhoods, and had experienced how cruel and ugly the world could be. Dickon had no sense of the darker side of life, and then it was thrown in his face in one of the most traumatic ways imaginable. Of course he'd develop PTSD. I could completely see how the circumstances of their lives and the times, led Mary, Dickon and Colin's lives to turn out the way they did. I did find the Mary/ Colin marriage thing a bit unsettling, but I try to remember that it was a different time, and there might have been different attitudes about that sort of thing back then. We need to be cautious about applying present standards to other periods in history. I did have a few issues with the book, which is why I removed one star. I thought the abyssmal introductory chapter was unnecessary - and extremely convoluted to boot. It was almost as if, by making it clear that tragedies have occured and taken the lives of two of the members of the beloved trio before the end of the book, Moody was deliberately trying to set a depressing mood from the start, leading the reader to spend the entire book anxiously "waiting for the other shoe to drop." I could have done without all that anxiety. I also could have done without so much sexual intrigue going on between the three of them. I can see why people were put off by that - that whole aspect was really overdone. Also, while I feel that it was necessary for the chracters to endure some pain and misfortune, and unrealistic for it to be any other way, the sanctity of the garden itself as a symbol of life and health should have been preserved. The tragic scene that occurred in the garden a couple of chapters from the end was in bad taste. That scene could have happened somewhere else. For the most part, I liked the book. I saw it as a book about these three friends who had discovered "magic" in the secret garden as children struggling to preserve that magic and friendship through all sorts of adverse circumstances as adults. In spite

an ironic book

I think this book is for any one who love's the unexpected outcome. And also for some one who want's to read of real life instead of a fairy story. I do agree that the priar novel and this one don't go together at all but this book has more reality. I think that it could have been changed to make life perfect for the three friends but that's not how life is.

Pretty good, defintitly for adults

I picked this book up in the young adult section, and it shouldn't be. You should be at least 15 to read it. The writing style is similar to Burnett's, but the events and characterization is very different. I love the secret garden, and have read it over and over again, but this was not as good. If you are willing to keep an open mind about the differences from the orgional, then it is good, but if not, it's not worth your time.

For those who want to relive the magic of love

If you grew up being read the secret garden, or read it yourself, then wondered, whatever happened to colin? mary? dickon? What became of them? One could go on and on. But after reading the sequal, I felt as if the ends had been tied. Wonderful novel.
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