4 out of 5 stars.
‘The Secret Garden,’ written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and published in 1911, has been beloved by generations. Made into a stage play and numerous movies, this enchanting story remains a popular classic today.
‘The Forgotten Room’ begins a few months after the original concludes, continuing the stories of Mary, Colin, Dickon and the rest of the beloved characters from ‘The Secret Garden.’ This is the story of what happens next to the people of Misselthwaite Manor.
Mary finds another secret, learns more about herself her friends, gets a tutor, nearly succumbs to her parents’ fate, and faces a crucial decision or two. Written with the style and heart of the original.
The Forgotten Room: A Sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’ by Stacie Morrell was first published as a Kindle eBook in 2012. At the time, it had not been edited/proofread at all. Since then, I’ve received word from the author that it has now been edited/proofread and it is also available in a trade paperback format as well as Kindle.
I am a huge fan of the original The Secret Garden (it’s my all-time favorite book in the world) and have read it more times than I can count. I have also read the other sequel Return to the Secret Garden by Susan Moody, which I thought was absolutely horrid. Consequently, I was a bit skeptical of this story. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I felt that while it doesn’t quite have the same magic that the original story has, the author did stay true to the characters’ personality traits and the dynamics between the personalities.
I thought the story line was sweet and believable. The manor house has been shut up for many years, so it’s not hard to imagine that there are rooms that people haven’t been in for decades. Nor is it hard to imagine Mary not being certain that she wants to share it with anyone else.
The ending seemed a little convoluted, but it was somewhat believable. Since the book mostly focuses on the children, we don’t really see any interactions the adults may or may not have.
If you’re a fan of the original, you may very well like this one.