Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eight Cousins or The Aunt Hill

I couple of months ago I re-read Little Women for the fourth or fifth time (it's something that I do with my favourite books, re-reading them every year or so) and I enjoyed it so much, I resolved to try to hunt down some other Louisa May Alcott books. Our local public library didn't have anything other than Little Women, but a good friend and fellow book lover kindly lent me several Alcott books, including Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom.

It took me a while to get into Eight Cousins. It's one of those books that doesn't really have much of a plot, not much drama or excitement.

It tells the story of a little orphan girl, Rose Campbell, who lives with her wealthy great-aunts. Thirteen-year-old Rose leads something of a life of luxury, but she is sickly and tends to mope around a bit, until her guardian, Uncle Alec, takes her into hand. The book then proceeds to document Rose's little adventures and mishaps over the year that follows. She has seven mischievous cousins (all boys!) to tease her and to play with her; and six well-meaning aunts to plague her and dote upon her.

There were one or two things about Eight Cousins that rubbed me the wrong way - Uncle Alec seemed to be a tad overbearing at times, Rose was a wee bit too perfect (she behaved more like an adorable little five-year-old than a teenager!), and certain bits of the book just seemed a little too quaint and cutesy.

But in spite of all of the above, I did enjoy reading Eight Cousins. The seven boy cousins were a heap of fun, the family and social dynamics were wittily portrayed by Alcott, and Rose herself was a sweet heroine - I couldn't help liking her in the end. So, the Eight Cousins continued to draw me in until, after taking several weeks to read the first half of the book, I finished off the second half on several hours!

I am extremely glad that I did persevere and finish Eight Cousins, because the sequel, Rose in Bloom, is a classic. . .

You can buy Eight Cousins from The Book Depository, Amazon, or try eBay.

1 comment:

Hope said...

I am 16 and read this book when I was 14 and Rose in Bloom at 15. I actually cried, which is hard for an author to do when it's me, not too impossible so if I do it's good. Alcott has warmed my heart and made me cry twice. I cry every time Beth dies and I've read it almost every year since the 4rth grade. I became fascinated with Alcott. Try Jo's Boys and can look up free books online such as Jo's scrap bag which is not copyrighted therefore you can read it legally online. SHe has so many great books you really should try reading them all.