Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb – Book Review – Blog Tour

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to host a guest post by Holly Webb on how she approached working with someone else’s characters. Now, I’ve had the opportunity to read Return to the Secret Garden thanks to Faye Rogers PR and Scholastic.

In preparation I re-read my Classic Adventures version of The Secret Garden and really enjoyed rediscovering the garden along with Mary Lennox, Dickon and Colin.

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Holly’s sequel Return to the Secret Garden is set in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War. Emmie is our protagonist whisked away from London to Misselthwaite Manor in Yorskshire before the bombs start dropping. She is forced to abandon a stray cat called Lucy, but as an orphan, everyone else she knows comes with her.

Emmie finds a set of diaries in the room she is staying in and through them finds a connection to Mary and sets about following in her footsteps and finding the Secret Garden.

The echoes from the first book don’t stop there, there’s a robin, a grumpy gardener and strange crying noises in the night.

As Holly said, the main character she used was the house and its gardens but we do also get to meet the original characters but not perhaps in the way we’d expect. The presence of war invades and not everyone has a happy ending.

Because the garden hasn’t been abandoned we don’t quite get to see it coming to life in the same way as the original but Holly has done a fantastic job of making connections to the original alongside creating her own story. You won’t need to have read The Secret Garden…but I’d advise that at some point you do.

My ratings were:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – 5*
Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb – 4*

Return… is a fitting follow up that gives us insight into the life of the garden  and the characters from the first book whilst introducing us to a new group of children and that cat called Lucy… the magic of the garden is at work again.

This is the last post on the tour but do check out what everyone else thought too. Return to the Secret Garden is out now.

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Posted on November 15, 2015, in Kirsty rambles on about life, the universe, tv, and everything!. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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