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In the Closed Room

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Book Overview: 

This is a short story about a shy, quiet little girl living in a big city. When her parents are offered the opportunity to take care of a house in the suburbs for the summer she meets another little girl in the house and they become playmates.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Her mother and father loved her and she loved them, but sometimes she was on the brink of telling them that she could not stay long—that some mistake had been made. What mistake—or where was she to go to if she went, she did not know. She used to catch her breath and stop herself and feel frightened when she had been near speaking of this fantastic thing. But the building full of workmen's flats, the hot room, the Elevated Railroad, the quarrelling people, were all a mistake. Just once or twice in her life she had seen places and things which did not seem so foreign. Once, when she had been taken to the Park in the Spring, she had wandered away from her mother to a sequestered place among shrubs and trees, all waving tender, new pale green, with the leaves a few early hot days had caused to rush out and tremble unfurled. There had been a stillness there and scents and colours she knew. A bird had come and swung upon a twig quite near her and, looking at her w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I borrowed an old copy of this book from a friend, and just turning the pages was a beautiful experience. The paper and page design are exquisite and I love the color plates by Jessie Wilcox Smith. I read this lovely story in one sitting, cradling the cloth covers gently in my hands. E-readers have

Somewhat surprising for those who know Burnett mainly from her children's books. This is a somewhat spooky story about a girl in a large house her parents are taking care of. It's pleasant, but she doesn't completely pull it off. The gender roles are a period of the age, but a bit jarring to read no


This story left me in a state of confusion. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel at the end. Happy or sad. I thought it was beautifully written, though.

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