Nancy's Reviews > Eight Cousins

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
F 50x66
's review
Nov 03, 2009

liked it
Read in November, 2009

When I was eight, I read Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" for the first time. And then I read it again - about twenty-five times in that first year, slurping it up like a delicious piece of my favorite dessert. It was the first time I ever realized that books could be tastier than cake. And every so often, even now, I feel a need for some Alcott-cake, and "Eight Cousins" is still one of my favorites.

The story concerns orphaned Rose, the only girl in a family of eight first cousins. On the death of her father, Rose is sent to the family home to meet her new guardian, her father's brother Alec, whom she has never met. Rose is frail, pale, overpoweringly ladylike, and (as you might expect, given her recent history) more than a bit anxious about her new life with Uncle Alec - not to mention all those boy cousins. Alec is a free-thinking doctor who is determined to turn frail Rose into a happy, healthy Rose. As a little girl, I loved reading about Alec taking away Rose's tight leather belts and giving her soft rainbow sashes and scarves; stealing her black coffee and making her milk the cow for fresh milk, and surprising her with skates and warm muffs and sleds and boats. And the truth is, I still like it.

I like Rose too. She can be awfully priggish, but she tries so hard to be good - you don't see that very often in modern kid-lit. (I'm not talking about you, Harry Pottter!) If you ask me (and nobody has), I think kids lose when they don't find integrity modelled for them in books.






















































































































































































































































































Alcott's "Little Women" for the first time. And that same
year, I read it again - twenty-five times. I slurped it up like a delicious slab of my favorite cake - it was the very first time any book ever affected me like that. So every now and then, I feel a need for some Alcott-cake, and "Eight Cousins" is quite a tasty dessert.


The story concerns orphaned Rose, the only girl in a family of eight first cousins. On the death of her father, she is consigned to the care of her father's brother, Alec, and goes to live in the family home, in close proximity to her many cousins. Rose is frail, pale and annoyingly ladylike; Alec is a doctor and a freethinker who plans to make her a happy, healthy Rose. When I was a little girl, I loved reading about all Alec's "experimeents" with Rose, like taking away her leather belts and giving her rainbow silk sashes; taking away her coffee and making her milk the cown and drink her fresh milk from a cool carved mug. I still like reading them. And I like Rose: she can be priggish, but there is something very endearing about her; I like how hard she tries to be a good person. That's something you rarely read about it children's literature any more (except for you, darling Harry Potter!) I think authors and publishers have come to believe that minor ethical dilemmmas are boring to children, but you know what? Considering the parents most kids have, I think it's helpful to them to have SOME kind of moral compass.
flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Eight Cousins.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.