Stephanie's Reviews > Rose in Bloom

Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
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Mar 10, 10

bookshelves: series, children-s, fluff
Recommended for: people who know and like Louisa May Alcott
Read from March 09 to 10, 2010

As a twenty-year-old who read Bridget Jones's Diary not too many months ago, Rose in Bloom contained some serious culture shock. It’s been ages since I read Little Women or Eight Cousins, and I had completely forgotten how Alcott is so very… pure. The narrator’s moral judgment is unassailable. Though Alcott’s forward claims “there is no moral to this story,” the moral just can’t help itself: Alcott’s views on morality, education, and character soak through every fiber of the story. She has very firm, dare I say, old-fashioned ideas about women: nearly every time a female character does a good deed, it is straightaway expounded upon as a virtue “common to womankind.” Get used to a bouquet of words like “pleasant,” “honest,” and “wise” every few pages. While the sentiment is innocent (and there is plenty of it), there are a number of generalizations I disagree with. But I can’t fault Alcott for what she is: her assumptions are perfectly natural for a woman writing after the Civil War, when women were idealized as angelic helpmeets. Alcott’s older female characters are somewhat L. M. Montgomery-esque in their foibles, but as far as Rose goes, Alcott is far from anachronistic. Although I put the book down in consternation more than once, I kept going because the straightforward emphasis on principles was kind of refreshing. (That and the love triangle, of course—who does Alcott decide is worthy of Rose?).
If this isn’t your cup of tea, save yourself from infuriation and stay clear. As for the book’s eventual effect on me… I honestly do feel like going to live my life honestly and cheerfully.
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