maricar's Reviews > Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
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's review
Jul 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: classics

Syrupy sweet, but nevertheless still enchanting…

Of course, his Little Lordship was a tad too good to be true (and I’ve a sneaking suspicion that he’d be what one would consider nowadays as queer – not gay, just weird -- what with sunshine just emanating in smothering waves from him).

This story makes for a light, amusing escape. Escape from the ghastliness of how people nowadays treat each other: often with suspicion, bluntness, and – dare I say it – parasitism. ‘User-friendly’ is practically a code to live by. A person is approached with an eye out for what s/he could possibly *do* for you. Don’t know yet what that favor could be? Then just keep that person in one’s “social network” ‘til he can prove to be of some worth one day.

But the little hero of this story frighteningly succeeds in shaming that aspect of the human condition. And he does nothing more than be naturally warm, steadfastly friendly and loyal, and blessedly oblivious to the coarser nature of those around him. He collects friends not because he yearns to be that person who is known to have the ‘most-number-of-friends-in-his-friends-list’, but because people irresistibly, inevitably, find themselves charmed and absolutely tickled to make his acquaintance.

This 7-year old boy is the wet dream of nannies and the nightmare of school bullies. The first for the obvious reasons: a sweet yet mature disposition; and the second because, even if he gets pummeled at school (which, let’s face it, would be more than likely – remember, he calls his mother by the name ‘Dearest’), he would just as soon turn to the bully and offer to rehabilitate him, proffering a hand of friendship, honest sympathy and earnestness on his ‘golden handsome’ countenance. A look of horror would then creep on the bully’s face as he gapes at this sickeningly sweet boy who just refuses to cry uncle and is now offering to befriend him. The bully then turns and flees as if the hounds of Beelzebub were at his heels.

Taking aside the improbability that someone of Cedric’s nature exists anywhere or anywhen in this world (think Children of the Corn gone eerily good), this story is actually more suited for consumption for its message of redemption, friendship, and – bear with me on this – contentment in all things simple.

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