What a great, old book! I never would have even considered reading it if it hadn't been at Liz's villa. I had heard of the book, of course, but didnt really know anything about it. And, actually, it reminded me very much of Anne of Green Gables, one of my all-time favorite stories. Rebecca comes from a large, poor family, and her mother ends up sending her to stay with two maiden aunts when she is about 12 years old. they were hoping to get another child who was more docile (and boring). The book relates Rebecca's growing up through high school graduation, and shows how her presence is able to beautify almost every life around her.
The writing in the book was very sweet, and really takes you back to a time when manners were appreciated, education was valued, and love was sweet. Of course, Rebecca is the type of girl who is a deep thinker and yet gets into trouble without intending to so so. There were a few good images I'd like to remember: Rebecca is looking at some beautiful pebbles at the bottom of a pool and her teacher talks about how they gt polished: "It was never there that their angles were rubbed off and their rough surfaces polished, but in the strife and warfare of running waters. They have jostled against other pebbles, dashed against sharp rocks, and now we look at them and all them and call them beautiful."
Also, when discussing talents, Rebecca's teacher says, "...no talent is wholly wasted unless its owner chooses to hide it in a a napkin. Remember that of your own gifts, Rebecca; they may not be praised of men, but they may cheer, console, inspire, perhapss, when and where you least expect. The brimming glas that overflows its own rim moistens the earth about it
Overall, this book was entertaining and thoughtful. There was one interesting character that I was quite puzzled about. If he were written into another book in this day and age, something different would have turned out in the end!