CSLJ Book Club Discussion of The Secret Garden – Day 6

CSLJ Book Club Discussion of The Secret Garden – Day 6

Hello again and welcome to Day 6 of our Secret Garden book club discussion. Our conversation about this wonderful book is nearly at an end but I hope you all had fun reading and chatting about The Secret Garden with us.

Today’s discussion questions are about Colin’s parents. Mrs. Sowersby says to Colin. “Eh! dear lad!” she said. “Thy own mother’s in this ‘ere very garden, I do believe. She couldna’ keep out of it.  Thy father mun come back to thee—he mun!”

  • Is Colin’s deceased mother’s spirit present in the book? Where and when do you sense it the most? Who does she employ as her “agents” of goodwill in the book?
  • Why do you feel Mr. Craven has avoided his son Colin so?  In the end, is he worthy of Colin’s forgiveness?

Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions. You can respond here on this post  or here on the CSLJ Facebook page.  You can also see our full discussion so far here.

Thanks for stopping by and I will see you again tomorrow for the final day of our book club discussion.


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2 Responses to CSLJ Book Club Discussion of The Secret Garden – Day 6

  1. I don’t know if the spirit of Colin’s mother is really in the garden or not but it would certainly be in keeping with the Magic the children find there, especially considering how much she loved it.

    If Mrs. Craven really was keeping an eye on her son from the garden she loved so much, I think you can see it in the little moments that lead Mary (and thereby Colin) to the garden, the overturned soil that uncovered the key and the little breeze that revealed the door and possibly even the Robin who help led the way.

    And of course, there’s Ben Wetherstaff. Before she died, Mrs. Craven made Ben promise to tend to her garden if anything should happen and he faithfully kept that promise and helped the garden to survive until it could be discovered. He befriended the robin that led Mary to the garden. And his appearance over the wall prompted Colin to stand for the first time. Of all the people and things that helped the children, Ben is the only one who was specifically and literally asked by Mrs. Craven to step in and he is able to speak for her (at least a little) and keep her memory green for the son who never knew her.

    She is also there in the dream that brings Mr. Craven home – a voice that calls across miles of moor and beyond to reunite two people who love each other. (It kind of reminds me of Jane Eyre, another book that takes place on the English Moor, but instead of two lovers, it is a parent and child who find each other.) Mrs. Sowersby may have written to Mr. Craven suggesting that he come home but I doubt it would have been as effective without that dream and her reference to Mrs. Craven reinforcing it.

    I do believe that Mr. Craven deserves a second chance to be a father to Colin (and possibly even Mary). Just as the garden helps redeem Mary and Colin, I am sure that it could work its Magic on Colin’s father. And even if Mr. Craven didn’t deserve forgiveness, Colin certain deserved a father who loved him, so either way I think things worked out for the best.

  2. Maybe Mrs. Craven was waiting for the right person to come along and help her to heal her fractured family. She saw an opportunity in Mary. She knew that Mary could be the one to stand up to her son and help him to find the garden through her. It does seem like Mrs. Craven leads Mary to the garden and calls to Mr. Craven to come home.

    I believe that it will take time for all the issues between Colin and his dad to work themselves out. I do believe that the garden will help them heal. Mrs. Craven and the garden are their common meeting ground on their way to healing.

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