The Annotated Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
This was a re-read for book club, for our annual children’s literature selection. Of course I’ll love the book – I included it as one of my favorite children’s literature classics.
And I liked it, but I didn’t love it as much as I remembered. There were an awful lot of gushings over the wonders of nature and Magic and all the rest that seemed so repetitive.
The book is a classic, and there are lots of editions available. I own a copy of it, but also borrowed this edition from the library, and am so glad I did. The illustrations and images are lovely, and add quite a bit to the book. The brief author biography included was also very interesting. The annotations were inconsistent – the ones that were included were generally good, although there were a number of terms or references in the text that surprised me to not find annotated, as something more obvious or commonly known was annotated elsewhere. Some of this was also because I’d so recently read The Annotated Sense and Sensibility, and those annotations were so well done, that this book’s annotations suffered in comparison.
The summary version: Find this book for the illustrations, not the annotations. And be prepared to skim some of the passages unless you want to read about nature! and Magic! and the healing properties of both! But overall, I wonder if you have to first read this as a child to love it, because rereading it as an adult? It’s lost some of it’s luster. Sadness.