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Eight Cousins: Or the Aunt-Hill
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Eight Cousins: Or the Aunt-Hill (Eight Cousins #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  30,402 Ratings  ·  869 Reviews
Orphaned Rose Campbell is overwhelmed when she arrives at the "Aunt Hill" to live with her six aunts and seven boy cousins. Life is certainly more exciting, but will she ever feel at home with this noisy family?
Paperback, 299 pages
Published April 1st 1989 by Puffin Books (first published 1874)
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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Austen, who wrote some one hundred years before Alcott, could feel so incredibly modern and this novel so insufferably outdated.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
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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
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
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
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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
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Tweety
Just as wonderful the third time round! :D
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.
Julia Reed
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
Alisha Trenalone
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
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
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"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.
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.
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
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
Debbie Phillips
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students and parents - middle school and up
Loved it.
This was the first time I have read this book, as far as I know.
It was sweet.
It was wonderful.
It was full of growing girls and boys.
The main character, Rose, such a sweet girl, grows and endures many trials and even helps her 7 male cousins to grow and mature as well.
She is so giving.
Just lovely.
The Aunts... hysterical, endearing, lovely, funny, strange, Great.
And Uncle Alec is the best. Anyone would love him to be their guardian.

a quote and a wake up call for all us parents/guardians,
...more
AngieA
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"Eight Cousins" by Lousia May Alcott is one of my all time favorite books and I try to read it every couple years. The story of an orphaned teen girl(Rose Campbell) who comes to live with her maiden aunts and bachelor uncle is overwhelmed by the presence of 7 male cousins who all live within walking distance. We follow them for a year as bachelor Uncle Alec raises Rose in a healthy, happy environment. Rose "adopts" the housemaid, Phoebe, who can sing like a lark. Rose also exerts her influence o ...more
Airiz C
Another delightful read from Louisa May Alcott—quite a breather from all the heavy readings I’m having lately! It’s not as good as her Little Women or Little Men, but it’s equally charming. Basically it’s about the sickly little girl Rose Campbell who must live with her numerous aunts in Aunt Hill and seven boy cousins after her father died. There’s nothing much to say when it comes to the plot, it’s just a series of slices-of-life zeroing in on one bud of a girl that was slowly growing into a f ...more
Laura Waxman
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Such a sweet story
Ruth
Jul 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think I just read some brainwashing pamphlet trying to convince everyone that cigars and earrings are evil, all fashion is vanity, and that women were put on the earth to make everything 'comfortable',being too stupid to better themselves with any sort of an education besides the culinary arts and sewing. How did this happen? Did Louisa write this in her old age when she turned senile? Or maybe it was her first novel as a budding author? Either way, this book was a great disappointment--I have ...more
Yair 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
Lisa Vegan
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children of all ages
This is probably my second favorite Louisa May Alcott book (after Little Women.) At least it was when I was a kid. I remember envying Rose all those boy cousins; it seemed as though it would be so much fun to have so many built in boy playmates. And it’s yet another orphan story – I do have an “orphans” shelf on goodreads as I love books about orphans. I don’t remember this as a depressing or somber tale at all though.

On another note: I pulled out my copy of the book, and I’m very excited as I m
...more
Melissa
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: frequent-re-read
I liked Little Women, but I have always liked this and its sequel so much better. Uncle Alec is a feminist at heart, surrounded by well-meaning relatives wanting to put their oar in (but still offering some wisdom and useful teachings in their own way). If Mary from the Secret Garden had grown up in a loving family from the start, I think she would have turned out very much like Rose. Having had lots of boy cousins myself, I love reading their antics (although mine never doted on me half as much ...more
Jessica
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louisa May Alcott's stories always have a way of making you feel warm&fuzzy. I love the manner of the time, though it is always amusing to see how women are "silly" and considered so much dumber than the men!
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.
Michael Bafford
This is the first book in the short series that ends with Rose in Bloom. I read the second book first, not wisely. I understood even while reading it that the first book was probably better, and I had no clue as to the characters and eccentricities of the different aunts and cousins.

This book is better, if not as much so as I had hoped. And I did get more insight into the family. Roses Uncle Alec is the hero, taking Rose under his wing on the death of her parents and bringing her up according to
...more
Amy Kannel
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters were so lovable even if they did seem completely unrealistic...it was charming and wholesome and enjoyable. I'm pretty sure it would have worked well as a read-aloud. I liked it enough to want to pick up Rose in Bloom.
Elena Mills
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Like I said, this book is ageless. I will never stop loving it. It is very traditional, having been published in 1875 but it is hard not to love the characters or Louisa May Alcott's marvelous writing style. This book is definitely a favorite!
Korah
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
such a sweet book! i love rose's character, she is so inspirational. anybody will enjoy this heart-warming story.
Estefany
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La verdad ame este libro, todo un clasico y una bonita historia sobre la familia
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Correct Page Count 2 11 May 06, 2017 03:40AM  
An Alcott Event: Shared Reads: Eight Cousins/Rose in Bloom 11 16 Oct 17, 2013 08:58PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Eight Cousins - 9th Sept Book 1 2 Sep 16, 2013 11:40AM  
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1315
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
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More about Louisa May Alcott...

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.” 49 likes
“[She was] kept there in the sort of embrace a man gives to the dearest creature the world holds for him.” 23 likes
More quotes…