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Eight Cousins

(Eight Cousins #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  33,699 ratings  ·  999 reviews
When Rose Campbell, a shy orphan, arrives at "The Aunt Hill" to live with her six aunts and seven boisterous male cousins, she is quite overwhelmed. How could such a delicate young lady, used to the quiet hallways of a girls' boarding school, exist in such a spirited home? It is the arrival of Uncle Alec that changes everything. Much to the horror of her aunts, Rose's forw ...more
Hardcover, The Beacon Hill Bookshelf, 278 pages
Published September 1927 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1874)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,699 ratings  ·  999 reviews


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Julie
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This went from delightful to tedious in thirty pages. It's amazing to me that Jane Austen, who wrote some one hundred years before Alcott, could feel so incredibly modern and this novel so insufferably outdated.

If you like regular lines such as "Oh, you little dear!" and scenes of the older man holding the chin of the thirteen-year-old girl and tenderly kissing her rose-bud lips and telling her to mind him and all of her dreams shall come true (did I mention it is her uncle--her dear, dear uncle
...more
June Geiger
I had SUCH a crush on Uncle Alec, who rides in on his white charger bearing oatmeal and imported silk sashes and SAVES young Rose from well-meaning overbearing aunts and migraines and addictions--some heavy stuff even by today's kiddie lit standards. (If you haven't read it and think I'm kidding, I'm not.) And when I wasn't fantasizing about Uncle A, I imagined myself with my own gaggle of guy cousins to pal around with--one or two tapping at my heartstrings, of course. Five stars? How about eig ...more
Catherine
The latest book in my Louisa May Alcott kick...and I found it generally charming. I love the idea of "throwing out the window" the general practices at the time (wearing tight corsets and belts, taking strong coffees and cordials to improve health, teaching girls to act like 'ladies' instead of allowing them fresh air and exercise) and enjoyed watching young Rose become a picture of health and happiness. I also loved the idea that her uncle taught her to be a self-reliant woman (hence the emphas ...more
Jessica
I love Little Women, I really do. Though I realize in retrospect that a lot of it is sort of . . . preaching the philosophies of the May/March parents. Which is fine, because wanting girls to be strong and self-sufficient is a wonderful thing.

But if you thought Marmee was a little too full of wholesome advice, this is NOT the book for you. The entire book revolves around orphaned Rose, and how her Uncle Alec, a free-thinking doctor, rehabilitates her. The virtues of fresh air, exercise, wholesom
...more
Andrea Cox
This was a delightful book with great charm. It had many twists that surprised me, and the characters were adorable. I loved the unconventionality that was Uncle Alec's doctoring. Very unique and special.

Content:
* expletives (a few)
* swearing by saints (twice)
* underage drinking, smoking, and gambling
* one or two mentions of gods and godesses

I was not compensated for my honest review.
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alcott devotees only
I never knew that Louisa May Alcott ever wrote anything other than Little Women, its sequels and some scary stories. But in 1875, Alcott published Eight Cousins, a predictable, bathetic novel featuring a ridiculously plucky orphan named Rose Campbell and her seven boy cousins; except for Mac, all of them would make Pollyanna appear a spoiled, selfish misanthrope. It’s no Little Women by a long shot.

The story began well enough, with Rose mourning the death of her beloved invalid father. Her uncle
...more
Sarah
Age Appropriate For: All Ages
Best for Ages: 10-18

Some of my favorite memories of my early teen years were the hours that I spent reading Little Women with my sisters. We read the whole book together over a few months, sitting outside in the woods, each with a different project. Alcott always makes me think of those happy times, and makes me feel nostalgic.

My younger sisters have read many more Alcott books then I have, and I got to hear all about their favorites. The book I heard them gush the m
...more
Kristen
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women ages 14 and up
If you've read any Louisa May Alcott, the general ideas and characters will be familiar. The characters are all very high-minded and very concerned with morality, building character, proper behavior, etc. Being written nearly 150 years ago, some of the ideas on health, class and race relations, and gender roles are very antiquated, and can even seem a bit bigoted. But you have to remember the time in which it was written. The way they describe a Chinese man is particularly interesting.

The basic
...more
Ellen Hamilton
There are no words to express how lovely this book was to me. I just loved it.

I am wondering though, what exactly was the disagreement between Dr. Alec and Rose's father? Was it that they both loved the same girl, Rose's mother? If so, then I fear that the next book, Rose in Bloom, will hurt a bit.

"Fathers and mothers are too absorbed in business and housekeeping to study their children and cherish that sweet and natural confidence, which is a child's surest safeguard, and a parent's subtlest po
...more
Tweety
Just as wonderful the third time round! :D
Alisha
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, happy-books
When I was in my early teens, there was a trifecta of authors that I devoured: Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott. I even made an informational web page about them on Angelfire... those were the days...

Anyway, revisiting a book like Eight Cousins reminds me exactly how I was influenced by these characters. A lot of my world view was shaped by this innocent wholesomeness, exemplified by Rose, the main character. Her ladylike presence automatically inspired people around her (name
...more
Kathryn
Oh my goodness this was such a good book and I already have the next one in the series, so I am all set. Sweet, loving, charming, delightful.
Gauri
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have nothing better to read
Shelves: childrens
Halfway through reading this book, I dismissed it as a saccharine funnel through which Alcott wished to teach children life lessons. After finishing it, I still think this is true, but I realize this book is dated and is more appropriately viewed as a piece of historical work. I mean this in the sense that there are some backwards views that are reflected in this book, but also some surprisingly progressive ones that Alcott cements, which is worth some notice.

There are parts of this book that s
...more
Julia
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every so often I get the urge to travel down memory lane and read some of the books that I loved as a child. I went through a phase where I polished off all of the Anne of Green Gables series on my Kindle, and another where I did the Little House books, so I guess it was inevitable that when I next needed to scratch that "childhood period fiction" itch, I'd reach for one of my dearly beloved favorites, Louisa May Alcott. It's interesting to think that many of the authors of beloved children's fi ...more
Mela
Let's face it, Louisa May Alcott wrote a beautiful books for young adult/children. It is a fact. Period. ;-)

During reading I was thinking all the time that this book should be obligatory for children and also for parents (guardians). There are so many people who read guides for parents and so on. I think they should start with such books like this one. It is so full of wisdom that you can't miss it. And almost all of them are true today too. There weren't computer games or Internet in those time
...more
Julie Davis
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was always my favorite Louisa May Alcott. I listened to Barbara Caruso's narration thanks to an Audible sale.

It was interesting reading this after having recently listened to Heather Ordover's discussion of Little Women at the CraftLit podcast. Essentially Alcott flips the situation of the poor but learning true happiness Little Women and applies it to orphaned, only child Rose who is a considerable heiress from a rich Bostonian family. We spend a year watching her being raised by her bache
...more
"Aubri"/Lisa
Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young girls and fans of LMA
Shelves: classics
This book and its sequel "Rose in Bloom" are my favorite books from childhood - even more so than Ms. Alcott's "Little Women." Rose it a wonderful role model, despite her flaws - and who wouldn't want an Uncle Alec? Her kindness and generosity are virtues that we could see more of in this world.
Duane
This is my favorite Alcott book outside of the March Family books. This is the 1st Rose book and is followed by Rose in Bloom. Not as good as Little Women but very good in its own right.
Amy "the book-bat"
I enjoyed this one a lot better than Little Women
Mom
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book so much. Good lessons on doing the right thing and being a good person. Fast and easy read.
Zoe
This charming book by Louisa May Alcott is as endearing as always - almost like coming home to a crackly fire and gooey chocolate chip cookies. Alcott will always be one of my favorite authors and I think she does a beautiful job in this book. Timid and weak Rose comes to live at the "Aunt Hill," affectionately nicknamed for its tons of aunts. Rose is an orphan accustomed to staying with dainty, polite girls. Will she survive rambunctious boy cousins and an amiable uncle full of bold ideas? With ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young girls, and young at heart of all ages
I first ran across this book over forty years ago, when I was nine or ten. It was and still is one of my "magic carpets"--those books that take you to another time, another place, another situation. I know I'm not the only preadolescent girl who dreamed of a wise, adventuresome Uncle Alec who would turn up and take me away--take me out of school (loved learning, hated school), teach me to swim and ride and boat, shower me with presents, give me lovely comfortable clothes and my own room. As we r ...more
Tracy
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, teen
I read this book more than once when I was between the ages of 8 and 12. My recent re-read came about when I realized I could download it for free onto my Kindle. If I were reading it for the first time as an adult, I would probably give it 3 stars, because the moral lessons can be a bit heavy-handed, and the word "pretty" is used 75 times, and the description of the Chinese character Fun See tiptoes too close to being racist, but my nostalgia for the book boosted it to 4 stars.

I was amused to
...more
Jessika
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Louisa May Alcott or for those looking for something cozy to read
Shelves: fiction, classics, own
What a charming, cozy little book--perfect for this time of year to read curled up with a blanket and some hot cocoa! For fans of Louisa May Alcott, this book will not disappoint. It is full to the brim with winsome characters, quaint morals and lessons, and enough heartwarming scenes to leave readers with that "warm, fuzzy feeling" for a while to come. Eight Cousins is not a real page-turner, but I found that I always looked forward to picking it up, even if I was content to put it down after a ...more
Danine
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've always wondered if a book was ever written without an antagonist. I thought such a book would be wonderful without evil. This is that book, and I suffered from a tremendous bout of ennui. I tried my vey best to put myself in the time which this book was written. But Uncle Alec is way too creepy and Rose is a whiney coquett. My god, I wanted to slap her, like over and over and over and over. I cannot bring myself to finish this book.
I'm excited to read other Alcott books, but this one reall
...more
Sara
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading with the kids




November 2013: After a slow start and some confusion about who belonged to whom (because a pile of aunts, uncles, grand-aunts and cousins wasn't confusing enough without the addition of nicknames), the book started to settle into a nice tale once Uncle Alec arrived. This was probably not as well written as Little Women/Little Men/Jo's Boys but it had more story line and less sermonizing than Jack and Jill. LMA always seems to deliver on story line. Her characters are char
...more
Yair Stern Ben-Zvi
While admittedly a very dated text (I was honestly amazed at the racial and gender mores that Alcott described so lucidly) there is still much to appreciate. However, and in the interest of full disclosure, I probably would not have read this on my own (it's part of a Trade Literature class I'm currently a part of)but I'm glad that I did; the prose is fluid and even fecund in its descriptive powers, and while it could certainly be construed as saccharine or treacle, I feel that unlike a lot of p ...more
Ryan
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.5 out of 5 stars]

The book centers on a girl, Rose, who, after being orphaned comes to live with her Uncle. Her story revolves around the little adventures, goings-on, and lessons she learns in her new environment and is supported by the interacting personalities of her eight cousins and many aunts.

I found the read enjoyable but it didn’t have that unique quality you find in a good book which drives you to dive into the story. The story's events were sweet and fun but seemed more to exist for
...more
Maddy
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Since I read this for our Battle of the Books, many before me declared their complete detestation of this little book. I enjoyed the prose, and the old-fashioned nature at first, but before long realized there was no over-arching conflict, and in there lied the reason for its unpopularity. But then as I was explaining this to someone else, I remembered the preface, "The author is quite aware of the defects of this little story, many of which were unavoidable, as it first appeared serially." Then ...more
Victoria
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember not particularly enjoying this book as a girl. It was actually much more interesting to read as an adult. The parallels between Alec's philosophies and current trends were fascinating. Also, I know only a little about Alcott personally, but based only on her stories, I'd say the world would benefit greatly from her brand of feminism.
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Eight Cousins Week 1 1 7 Mar 07, 2018 12:16PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please Correct Page Count 5 53 Feb 04, 2018 11:57AM  
An Alcott Event: Shared Reads: Eight Cousins/Rose in Bloom 11 17 Oct 17, 2013 08:58PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Eight Cousins - 9th Sept Book 1 3 Sep 16, 2013 11:40AM  

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5,426 followers
As A.M. Barnard:
Behind a Mask, or a Woman's Power (1866)
The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation (1867)
A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866 – first published 1995)
First published anonymously:
A Modern Mephistopheles (1877)

Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their father, philosopher/ t
...more

Other books in the series

Eight Cousins (2 books)
  • Rose in Bloom (Eight Cousins, #2)
“If you dear little girls would only learn what real beauty is, and not pinch and starve and bleach yourselves out so, you'd save an immense deal of time and money and pain. A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort of beauty for man or woman.” 54 likes
“[She was] kept there in the sort of embrace a man gives to the dearest creature the world holds for him.” 25 likes
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