Eight Cousins – Louisa May Alcott

I first read Little Women when I was eleven. It was an abridged version, and the story seemed very pleasing to me, full of simple, joyous instances; funny, clean humour; and sensible, beautiful ideals which one would yearn to uphold and follow, so prettily expressed were they.
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy became close friends, and being a bookworm, I naturally liked Jo the best.
As I grew up, I read the remaining books, the originals, and loved the characters even more, and longed to emulate them – for, which reader, wholly immersed in a book, can remain unaffected by the ideas expressed, which correspond to those thoughts in her own head, maybe unacknowledged, maybe silent, but there all the same?
I liked the simplicity of the storytelling, the portrayals which seemed so real, and the attractive description of such commonplace activities, which led the reader to appreciating her own blessings and living her own reality, instead of distracting the mind by making it long for worlds beyond reach.
Somehow, by chance or by negligence, I never got to read any other book by Louisa May Alcott for quite some time. Little Women is considered among one of the “classics” in most publishers’ lists, and so are the other books in the series, but I hadn’t come across any other work of hers.
Then by some good luck, I found the book Eight Cousins, and its sequel – Rose in Bloom. It seemed like a breath of fresh air, for I’d been immersed in fantasy and popular fiction for so long, that I was beginning to feel quite lost in all those illusions.
The books are about Rose, an orphan, who goes to live with her aunts and uncles, on the death of her father. She has seven boy cousins – a merry, youthful group, who call themselves “The Clan”, and take her into their fold, and help make her a healthy, happy child – under the eyes of her guardian, cheery, boyish Uncle Alec. The characters – Archie “The Chief”, responsible, kind and the oldest, Prince Charlie,charming and full of fun and frolic,Mac,the bookworm, Steve,the Dandy, Will and Geordie,the twin-like little soldiers and Jamie,the baby, make up the brood, along with sweet-voiced Phebe, the poor, orphaned maid who becomes a sister to Rose. And Rose herself –  sweet,generous hearted and strong minded, makes a lovely protagonist. The books follow the adventures they get into, as children; then the tribulations they face as they grow, finding just rewards at the end.
The characters are very likeable, and for those who love L.M Alcott’s writing, this will surely be a treasured read, regardless of whether the readers are young or old; for, though the books talk about children and their doings, there is so much good sense, such good advice spread through them, that I’m sure even “grown-ups” will love the books. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Eight Cousins – Louisa May Alcott

  1. When I found Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom several years ago, I loved them. Louisa (I like to be on first name basis with my author friends 🙂 always writes about ‘simple life’–even though Rose doesn’t exactly live in middle class, it is still a very ‘normal’ story. Her books “Under the Lilacs” and “An Old Fashioned Girl” also follow this trend.

    • Yes, that’s what I basically like about her books 🙂 Oh,I’ll definitely try reading those two books too..I read A Modern Cindrella – which is a collection of short stories, and very sweet too.Yeah, you can’t help feeling like you’ve known them forever,can you? 🙂 (Favourite authors,I mean)

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