Author: Mariah Marsden
Illustrator: Hanna Luechtefeld
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Released: June 15, 2021
Before I begin my review, let me just start by saying that The Secret Garden has and will always be near and dear to my heart. I fell in love with the movie as a child and then quickly found myself loving the novel all the more.
Naturally, this means that I tend to love all things The Secret Garden, including graphic novel adaptations. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw this one pop up while I was browsing one day. I knew that I had to read it.
I’ll cover the basics real quick for those who don’t know much about The Secret Garden. Mariah Marsden wrote the Secret Garden, and it follows ten-year-old Mary Lennox. She was orphaned at a young age and sent to live with a distant relative – the only relative she has left.
Well taken care of but largely ignored, Mary begins to explore the massive estate. Here, she finds several well-kept secrets. Such as the sickly boy tucked away behind locked doors. Or the beautiful garden that is forbidden to enter – or speak of.
The graphic novel adaptation, illustrated by Hanna Luechtefeld, is better than I could have hoped for. Not only did I adore it, but I know in my heart that my childhood self would have loved it just as much.
All of the whimsy and beauty was captured here. The plants and garden sprang to life, along with Mary’s story. Though naturally, the organic elements are the most important part of this novel’s aesthetic.
I really enjoyed the way all of the characters were designed and how the story flowed from one page to the next. I do not doubt that this will be a graphic novel I end up picking up and fiercely protecting.