The Secret Garden_Frances Hodgson Burnett
Classics

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden (1909) is one of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most popular novels. The book tells the story of Mary Lennox, a spoiled, contrary, solitary child raised in India but sent to live in her uncle’s manor in Yorkshire after her parents’ death. She is left to herself by her uncle, Mr. Craven, who travels often to escape the memory of his deceased wife. The only person who has time for Mary is her chambermaid, Martha. It is Martha who tells Mary about Mrs. Craven’s walled garden, which has been closed and locked since her death. Mary becomes intrigued by the prospect of the forgotten garden, and her quest to find out the garden’s secrets leads her to discover other secrets hidden in the manor. These discoveries combined with the unlikely friendships she makes along the way help Mary come out of her shell and find new fascination with the world around her.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray_Oscar Wilde
Classics

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a beautiful summer day in Victorian England, where Lord Henry Wotton, an opinionated man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man who is Basil’s ultimate muse. While sitting for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry espousing his hedonistic world view and begins to think that beauty is the only aspect of life worth pursuing, prompting Dorian to wish that his portrait would age instead of himself.

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Little Women

Louisa May Alcott’s best-known, beloved novel draws readers into the world of the four March sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – and their mother, Marmee, and follows the girls as they grow from impulsive teens into mature young women. Alcott’s episodic narrative showcases the girls’ individuality and ambitions, their triumphs and trials, their shortcomings and evolving characters, and their relationships with one another, with their mother and with society at large. Its voice is in a manner that is, alternatingly, humorous, uplifting and, sometimes, heartbreaking. Alcott’s novel doesn’t resist sentimentality, but it balances, and, ultimately, transcends it with realistic depictions of the challenges inherent in the pursuit of true vocation and true love, the burden of domestic labor, and the effects of social pressures and life’s challenges – including illness – on female ambition.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland_Lewis Carroll
Classics

Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a work of children’s literature by the English mathematician and author, Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, written under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy realm populated by talking playing cards and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale is fraught with satirical allusions to Dodgson’s friends and to the lessons that British schoolchildren were expected to memorize. The Wonderland described in the tale plays with logic in ways that has made the story of lasting popularity with children as well as adults.

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Pride and Prejudice_Jane Austen
Classics

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s much beloved classic never fails to make our hearts flutter. Witnessing the novel’s bright and independent heroine Eliza Bennet melt the heart of the cool, aloof nobleman Mr. Darcy is a wonderfully satisfying experience. A meddling mother, troublesome sister and odious cousin round out the cast of characters who throw roadblocks on the path to a happy ending. Full of warmth and wit, Pride and Prejudice reminds us that sometimes we need to overcome our preconceptions in order to find love.

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Odyssey_Homer
Classics

Odyssey

After the fall of Troy, Odysseus still has not returned home due to angering Poseidon by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. He was imprisoned for years by the beautiful nymph Calypso who only let him go after receiving a message from Zeus.

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