3 words: gentle, hopeful, old-fashioned
If you’re a gardener, this book is likely to send you into a bliss attack.
For us non-gardeners, sometimes Burnett lays it on a little thick.
The raptures induced by gardening seem a bit overblown to me, but then I took a step back and thought, “If they were talking about the effects of reading, rather than gardening, I’d be totally on board.”
So I cut the woman some slack.
I’m classics-avoidant, so the “Children’s Classic” Book Bingo square had me rather holding my nose.
But I’m glad I finally read this book; it seemed like a book I should’ve liked as a child (I wouldn’t’ve liked it as a child), but I dodged it quite artfully for all these decades.
It’s a bit of a treacly tale, but also somewhat heartwarming.
But geez Louise, I despise heartwarming. It’s amazing I survived this book. I think the occasional surliness on the part of Mary and her sickly cousin Colin helped cut the sweetness just enough to keep the concoction palatable.
And while I’m not the sort who would ever be redeemed by digging in the dirt and coaxing plants out of the earth, I get it that for some people, this is really the thing.
So… two spoiled rotten children become kindly, decent humans, and it’s largely due to the garden and the sweet nature of a young boy who charms the animals.
The thing that got me in the end is that this is the story of people making their lives better. I’m a sucker for that storyline every time.
A simple tale, but given that it falls into the dreaded Children’s Classic category, remarkably pleasant.