The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Return to the Secret Garden
Mary Lennox, the sallow, bad-tempered orphan heroine of The Secret Garden, has grown up. She's married Colin - now Lieutenant Craven - and they have a son, Jack. Dickon works in the gardens, having been injured in the First World War.
Decades later, another unhappy orphan arrives at Misselthwaite Manor. Evacuated from German bombing in London, Emmie loves the gardens, but finds the moors frightening. She doesn't belong here.
When she discovers Mary's old diary, it draws her into the story of the garden. But the new war changes all their lives forever.
This sequel ingeniously replays and reworks the original, characters plausibly ageing with believable tragedies blighting their adult lives. Emmie is like Mary, but also entirely herself - tenaciously fighting for a better future, with the garden still at the heart of the book.