Synopsis: It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary and a garden. A very secret garden…
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Format Read: Audiobook
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical, War, Adventure, Magic, Friendship, Retelling
Review: Oh my this was utterly beautiful, The Secret Garden is my favourite book in the whole world and when I found out about this book I was hesitant but also really wanted to explore the garden once more. I had no idea what this was about or if I would enjoy it or connect to it at all. I was pleasantly and happily surprised that I did.
Emmie is an orphan living in an orphanage in London, but during the war she and the 20 children and three staff members are moved to Misselthwaite Manor to avoid being killed. The move wasn’t easy, but somehow thanks to a secret garden Emmie manages to get by.
I loved Emmie, it felt like I was back with Mary, they were so identical in personality and it was an instant connection to her that helped me love this story from the start. As we start to explore with Emmie, we find old diaries of Mary’s and I loved that Emmie read them, herself connecting to Mary.
The robin and the diaries lead Emmie to where the true magic lies hidden within the secret garden a place that Emmie feels was just for her. She dreamt of having her cat Lucy that she left behind to be with her and she spoke of it in the garden and a miracle happens, her companion is found and gifted to her.
I won’t go into detail from this whole story even though i really could as everything was so beautiful and so cleverly crafted. I really did feel like I’d stepped into a piece of work by Frances Hodgson Burnett but alas Holly Webb was the creator of this beautiful story.
I will say there were a couple issues, such as it was predictable in places you knew who the characters from the original story were without being told in this new story. The other minor issue was that in some parts of the journal entries it didn’t sound how Mary would have. However these were so minor it didn’t disrupt from how much I loved and enjoyed being part of this story.
I am so happy that a second story that captures the magic, the joy, the enormity and the wonder of the Secret garden has been written, it was worlds beyond better than I could have dreamt it would be.
Narrator Review: Amy Enticknap told the story well, her voice was clear, she understood the beauty of the story she was sharing. She did make a few irritating voices as she tried pretending to be other characters which did annoy me a bit at times. She hasn’t been my favourite narrator I’ve heard and I’m not sure she would have been my first choice of narrator for this book however she was good, clear and not the worst I’d heard.
About Author: Holly Webb is the author of Dog Magic, Cat Magic, and Lost in the Snow. She has always loved animals and owns two very spoiled cats. They haven’t said a word to her yet, but she’s always listening, just in case! She lives in England.