“One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live… surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow.”
Today’s review is about a book I have just finished. The quote above is from there, and in my opinion it can be very life-telling. The Secret Garden by Frances H. Burnett may look like a children’s volume that a person like me, who is always 16, should not bother to read.
Despite being directed to a younger audience, TSG is an enlightening book about overcoming one’s beliefs and be corageous, and enjoy life to its fullest despite we can be negative at times.
The main protagonist of the book is Mary Lennox. She is a ten year old who lives in India with her parents, who are never there for her. Her mother seems to despise her for some reason and this is why Mary spends her days and nights with the slaves who work for her household. One day cholera strikes and kills a lot of people who lived with her, her parents included. Mary is left by herself until she is found, and she is taken to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven. Mary still acts like she is a queen the very first weeks she is at the castle, but soon she starts meeting the world and enjoys the peacefulness of nature of Yorkshire and she starts changing. She eats more, she exercises more, and she is more keen to talk to people and discover new things. When she finds out there is a secret garden in the property, Mary is filled with a new light that brings her to uncover it. Not only that, she also wants to find out why her uncle is always far from home and distant and who is crying at night around the house. With the good purpose of curiosity, she finds many things and changes for the better. Thanks to her quirky nature she is able to make even better things and heal and be healed as well.
The story is very simple as you can see. Yet, the characters are very realistic. Theirs is a journey of healing: Mary was stubborn child who only gave orders to the slave, but once she is left alone with nothing to do other than go out and explore, she finds a new reason to live.
Everyone has been like Mary in their lives, but also like Colin. Colin is Mary’s cousin, and he is always in bed. He looks ill and people say he’ll grow a hump on his back and he will die soon. He is the typical lazy person. He is lazy because his father had neglected him since he was born. He didn’t neglect him economically because he let him do whatever he wanted, but emotionally he avoided to talk or even see him. Colin became convinced of the fact that he was gonna die one day or another, and he had a phobia of people. He was a sociopath and he didn’t want to go out at all.
I felt very much like him for a lot of my life. I wasn’t THAT lazy, but I was negative and I am still a bit negative. I let other people influence my thoughts and I lost my hope somewhere along the way.
Thanks to this book, however, I thought there is a way to move further from this.
After Colin meets with Mary and then with Dickon (Mary’s friend and the brother of the maid), he starts to like people again and asks for their help to strengthen himself. Like this he does not only start walking again, but his personality also changes. He is not wary of people anymore and full of doubts, but he becomes hopeful again. Contact with people of the same age helped him believe in himself and his qualities, and prove the ones who had talked shit about him that he was brave enough to overcome his “illness”.
The secret garden healed everyone, Colin’s father included.
Hopefully, I will treasure this book’s words and also be healed as well.