Monday, August 25, 2008

Rose in Bloom

The Soul of the Rose, by John William Waterhouse, 1908

That afternoon, after I'd finished Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins, I ate dinner, did a few other things, then prepared to read Rose in Bloom. I knew that it would be a book to savour. I crept downstairs to the granny flat - the quietest room in the house, unless my sisters and I are practising guitar (we keep all our musical gear in the flat!) - and curled up on the spare bed. Feeling deliciously warm and comfortable, I finally got out my book. First I examined its exterior - what a dreadful illustration on the front cover! I'm sure the heroine doesn't anything look that in reality. (The copy I read was an old 1980s edition!) - Ooooh, goody, it's a nice fat book - 311 pages! that's 40 pages more than Eight Cousins! - then finally I got down to the delighful business of actually reading the thing.

Rose in Bloom continues the story begun in Eight Cousins of Miss Rose Campbell's life. After having spent two years traversing the earth with her beloved Uncle Alec and companion Phebe Moore, Rose arrives home to be welcomed back joyfully by her multitude of relations. Rose is now twenty years of age, and in just one more year she is to come into possesion of her late father's fortune. A generous creature, she has made up her mind to be a philanthropist, much to the dismay of her amiable aunts and cousins, who are terrified that she will "throw her fortune away on a few paupers".

Young, pretty and rich, Rose is a very popular young lady of society, and suitors begin to rain down unmercifully (remember - "It never rains, but it pours"). But in spite of these afflictions, sensible Rose manages to keep her head - more or less.

I won't give away any more of the plot, I can only highly recommend that you read Rose in Bloom. If you appreciate chivalry, biblical values and principles, romance, and true love that outlasts youthful passion, then read this book!

But be warned: I cried more over this book than any book I've ever read, so keep a box of tissues handy! Seriously, I was bawling by the time it got to the end. Rose in Bloom is a genuine classic, and sits pretty much even with Little Women in my list of favourite Alcott book. It would be right up there on my list of all-time favourite books, for that matter.

10 out of 5 stars from me!


Hope said...

Yep, my favorite book ever. Although I always return to Little Women.

Carolyn said...

This book book makes me weep buckets!