Tell Me Of A Girl

I’ve written a book. Tell Me Of A Girl is a poetic retelling of The Secret Garden, and it’s available now on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QA6TqK

Here is the cover:-

The Story of A Girl cover by LH Johnson

Here’s the blurb: –

“A retelling of the iconic children’s classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911), Tell Me Of A Girl explores the story of Mary Lennox like never before.”

And here’s the opening three chapters:-

Tell me of a girl

This is the story of a girl
who lived defiantly until she was wrapped in leaves
and locked behind walls. Tell me of the life she lived,
how her unruliness shone,
and how her loss did not define her.

Tell me of a girl
who survived.

With one hand in the soil

The first thing Mary Lennox learnt of the world was this:
her mother was beautiful and she was not, and she learnt this before she learnt her own name and before she knew what names even were.

Sometimes her mother would come to her room and look at Mary as though they had never met, and on those occasions Mary would look back at her
and find herself lost for words.

She was scared of her mother but proud too;
proud of her beauty, and of the way that people would talk of her in hushed tones.

Sometimes she would not see her mother for days
until she came home with friends, and the noise arrived before they did.

On those days, the servants took Mary to the back of the house
filled her mouth with food to earn her silence,
and together they listened to her mother laugh
too long,
too loud,
and too much.

The darkness

One night, Mary’s mother came to her room
and lit a cigarette in the dark,
let the ash slide onto the floor,
and spoke about how she was a soldier in some great battle and if she had to,
she would fight alone and she would win despite everything
despite her.

Her voice was calm, but the red tip of the cigarette moved like a mosquito through the dark.

The next morning, she left for a party in the hills, and came home two days later
in the grey, thin, light of the dawn,
and as the sun rose, she smashed glass against the walls
and scored the sky with regret.

Mary screwed her eyes shut and lied sleep
as the doctors came to their house and spoke of cholera
for it was a word that, unlike the others, she did not yet understand,
and so it meant nothing to her when the engagements
were not attended; and when her mother did not rise.

 

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