Monday, February 10, 2014

"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett [Book Review]

The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this way back when and watched the movie more times than I can count growing up. I love the story itself, I always have, always will. After finishing it this go-around, as a woman concrete in my theology as a Christian, I grimaced at the author's take on the Doxology in comparison to magic. It left an awful taste in my mouth, I love the story line without it. If I go into to much detail I would give away the story, but let me let me quote the Doxology to you... "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen."

Beautiful song. EVERYONE Praise God in all circumstances: for your blessings and for your trials because He is sovereign and beyond our understanding.

How beautiful would this story be if she stuck to one concept: God's Sovereignty. God's sovereignty in Dickon's healing. God's sovereignty in his Father's life, his mother's death, for the change in attitude, and for the friends in his life. Rather, they sang the song not as praise to an almighty God and what He does in our life, but a "fitting" song to go along with Dickon's speech on magic and what "magic" did in his life. Bleh. Didn't like it. It seriously ruined it for me.

If she would've JUST talked about magic. Fine. (It's a fiction story for crying out loud!)

If she would've JUST talked about God's Sovereignty. AWESOME, even better!

But to take a hymn designed to express praise to a sovereign God and mix it with chanting about magic? Backwards and screwy. I JUST did NOT like it.

So I recommend the book as a GREAT story, but not one I could recommend to teach any valuable lessons on Christianity (which I didn't expect it to) but don't talk about magic mumbo jumbo and mix it in with a praise song for pete's sake. Christian parents: If you read this with your child, be prepared for this conversation!

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