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Old 11-10-2018, 06:25 PM   #19
darryl
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I somehow missed reading this one as a Child. I doubt I would have read it now but for this book club. But I enjoyed it and it is a worthy read. I'm only going to mention only a few things about the Book at the moment. Firstly, I loved the initial description of Mary in India. Who these days calls a Child, a very young girl, ugly! But the description was apt, though the ugliness was of course of character. It was interesting to read later descriptions of her as her character was redeemed and the effect this brighter demeanour had on the perceptions of those around her. Yes, the redemption story was well told, and the garden both an excellent vehicle and an excellent metaphor for this redemption.

The author's love of nature shone clearly through her writing. Though there are particular aspects of nature I love and know well, the change of seasons are not one of them. Visitors to our shores here in Australia who stay a while often remark that they miss the clearly defined seasons of their homes. Personally I am not a gardening enthusiast and am quickly bored if sentenced to digging and weeding, no matter how beautiful the surroundings. But I do understand that many love it, even if I don't share the same level of enthusiasm. So for me the metaphor of the garden was more an intellectual than a visceral one. The Robin made me think of Blake's quote, "A Robin Redbreast in a cage puts all Heaven in a rage". Freedom of the grounds and the garden gave Mary the opportunity to save herself and Colin, because the adults in their lives were certainly not going to do so. And of course they ultimately won their own freedom from their self-imposed prisons.
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