Tag Archives: The Secret Garden

What This Girl Wants

So I read a lot in July, or more accurately, I re-read a lot in July. Every so often, I make it a point to re-read the books of my childhood, and so I re-read some Laura Ingalls Wilder books,  Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Wuthering Heights, The Secret Garden, and Harry Potter. And as I did so many years ago, I fell desperately in love with the heroes of my childhood. There are so many wonderful fictional men I have adored that I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever find someone their equal in the real world.

I want an Almanzo. He took Laura for rides in his horse drawn vehicles for TWO AND A HALF YEARS, patiently letting her set the pace. Why can’t someone show up at my door every Sunday at 2:00 with a horse?

I want a Mr. Bhaer, a stately gentlemen who tries to do what’s best for me until he can deny his love no longer. I want someone who learns and enjoys learning, and enjoys teaching too; a man with a wealth of love, knowledge, and patience.

I want a Gilbert Blythe, who settles for friendship until his feelings run away with him; a man who will wait for me even when I don’t believe in my own feelings for him. I want a man who knows me well enough to know I have feelings for him, but lets me figure it out myself instead of shoving it in my face. I want a guy who tells his mother all about me, good, bad, and ugly.

I want a Paul (for I was Paul’s age when I first read Anne of Green Gables, and fell desperately in love with him then), who has glorious curly hair and is sweet, poetic, and imaginative while being totally manly too.

I want a Heathcliff, a person whose terrible matches my terrible. I want a love that is so passionate it’s destructive, so true it doesn’t care about what’s in it’s path, so lasting it stays even after everyone involved has given up.

I want a Colin; a boy who faced struggles, who was told that he couldn’t do so many things, and then did. A man who needs only a little persuading to be the best that he can be, who so badly wants to be good that he lets few obstacles into his path.

I want a Remus, who is so immensely good and flawed at the same time. I want a man who is too loyal for his own good, and carries chocolate about as a cure for various ailments.

I don’t know if this is the case for all readers, and I have no real complaints about my life, but I have often wondered if the real world could measure up to the many wonderful worlds I have lived in! Reading all these books was like jumping into my own childhood for several thousand pages, and I highly recommend it :)

The Fault in Our Stars {Book/Movie Review}

My post yesterday was short and without a title for two reasons. The first is, simply, because I was running out of time – I spontaneously invited my friends home after the movie, and we played euchre, talked about TFIOS, and generally hung out until after midnight. One of my friends decided to stay the night, and I realized that I had approximately three seconds to get this blog post out before I had to give up sweets for three days. The second is because I needed a little more time to process my thoughts before I wrote about them, so I gave myself a bit of a pass.

I suppose there should be some sort of minimum word count or something, but I haven’t really bothered to set one because of my penchant for getting caught up in situations like this.

But this post is not an explanation, so much as it is a book/movie review – The Fault in Our Stars.

Written by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) is a book about two teens who have cancer, and miraculously escapes being about cancer itself. In the novel, Hazel and Augustus navigate the pitfalls of teenagerhood, love, and the many varied side effects of dying. It manages to be hilarious, morose, and uplifting all at once, and it’s the kind of book that is fully worth the tears it brings. While it is not the best book in the universe – and you will never hear me call any book the best book ever, because I don’t think there can be only one – it is certainly one that should be allowed into your life.

Basically, I loved it. Above and beyond the story and the characters, there’s a spirit in this story that comes out and overwhelms you. It made me realize that I too am dying – not quite as quickly, but dying all the same. All of us are – in fact, that is the one thing we all have in common at all times. We are all slowly dying, battling the loss of consciousness that will one day overtake us. But between now and that moment, we have a little spare time, a little infinity, if you will, and it is up to us to fill it in the best way possible.

So I loved this book, and I went to see the movie, and you will read a hundred thousand accounts of how amazing this movie is. So instead I will talk about the one thing that disappointed me.

While I did love it, I also found the reason I’ve preferred reading love poetry to having such poetry read to me. Some words deserve to remain on the page, for that is where they shine; when said aloud by an actual person, they feel strange rather than beautiful, childish rather than profound. I found that this happened with many parts of this book – words that had meant so much to me, had given me so much to think about, felt intrinsically different when they  were spoken rather than written. There are so many quotes in the book that struck a chord in me when I was reading – but when I saw them played out on the screen, I felt as though something was missing in translation.

And I’ve realized this is the case with many books. Mary and Colin say a great many things in The Secret Garden that sound (to use Mary’s turn of phrase) queer when said aloud. Anne of Green Gables, whose words are lovely and poetic on paper suddenly seem overdramatic in movie form.

Nevertheless, The Fault in Our Stars is highly recommended by this reader and viewer.