The Secret Garden is one of my very favourite books of all time. And while I’ve never been fond of the film adaptions they have made of it over the years, I was quite interested in the graphic novel.
Ten-year-old Mary Lennox arrives at a secluded estate on the Yorkshire moors with a scowl and a chip on her shoulder. First, there’s Martha Sowerby: the too-cheery maid with bothersome questions who seems out of place in the dreary manor. Then there’s the elusive Uncle Craven, Mary’s only remaining family—whom she’s not permitted to see. And finally, there are the mysteries that seem to haunt the run-down place: rumors of a lost garden with a tragic past, and a midnight wail that echoes across the moors at night. As Mary begins to explore this new world alongside her ragtag companions—a cocky robin redbreast, a sour-faced gardener, and a boy who can talk to animals—she learns that even the loneliest of hearts can grow roots in rocky soil.
Since The Secret Garden is one of my favourite books of all times, I’m a bit critical when it comes to judging adaptations. I want my source books to be done justice. I’m trying however to be fair and not overly critical.
First of all, I wanna say that the artstyle is really very cute. I also liked how the artists worked with colours. You could see that everything was grey at the beginning and slowly more colour came into Mary’s life as she grew accustomed to her new home. There is a whole theme in Hodgson Burnett’s book in that spring is coming and everything, also Mary and Colin, comes to life. I think that was rather well done in the graphic novel as well.
I was a bit sad, that some parts of the book have been left out in the graphic novel. I’m well aware that you cannot put everything into an adaptation. There are questions of space and time until everything needs to be done and I’m sure that it’s not easy to do at all. Still, I’m sad that Mary’s time in India wasn’t included because I think that would have given her character more depth in the graphic novel and would have explained more of her background and the reason why she acted how she acted.
All in all, it was a quick, nice read but I would not suggest to anybody to read the graphic novel instead of the actual book.
Since the review is just so short, I decided to make a journal spread, to make up for it. 🙂
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