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Though older books can be a bit difficult to read, due to the different language and writing styles of more than a century ago, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and plan to read the sequel "A Rose in Bloom" as well.


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Sep 21, Ellen Hamilton rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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. So the young hearts hide trouble or temptation till the harm is done, and mutual regret comes too late.

Happy the boys and girls who tell all things freely to father or mother, sure of pity, help, and pardon; and thrice happy the parents who out of their own experience, and by their own virtues, can teach and uplift the souls for which they are responsible. As for the second part, I wish that this freedom of confidence existed between my parents and me. It would have helped save me a whole lot of trouble.

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However, I hope to remember this when I am a parent. I can't talk much more about this book, because Just as wonderful the third time round! Sep 22, Alisha rated it really liked it Shelves: When I was in my early teens, there was a trifecta of authors that I devoured: Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott. I even made an informational web page about them on Angelfire 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 When I was in my early teens, there was a trifecta of authors that I devoured: Her ladylike presence automatically inspired people around her namely, men to be their best selves! So much gentility and respect! This impressed me mightily! I subconsciously stored this fascinating social education away, only to find that's not quite how it goes But while it's a bit out of place in the modern age, and occasionally some would say naive, I'm glad it was part of my youth and wouldn't trade it for anything!

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott - Free Ebook

In this book, orphaned Rose comes to live with her guardian uncle, and her neighbors are 7 boy cousins and a bunch of other corresponding aunts and uncles! She arrives a tired, droopy little thing who survives on strong coffee, is proud of her tightly cinched little waist, and is about as uneducated as most girls of her class By the end of the book she's well on her way to being a truly healthy young girl with high spirits and noble ambitions, who can also make her 7 cousins toe the line. There are some delightful episodes, such as the "freedom suit" her uncle orders for her the opposite of a corset.

And, pay particular attention to the development of Mac, her bookworm cousin 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. Jul 18, Julia rated it really liked it. Every so often I get the urge to travel down memory lane and read some of the books that I loved as a child.

Eight Cousins

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 Every so often I get the urge to travel down memory lane and read some of the books that I loved as a child. It's interesting to think that many of the authors of beloved children's fiction written in or about the 19th century lived themselves very depressing lives Look up Lucy Maud Montgomery if you don't believe me that were at odds with the general happiness of the characters they wrote about.

LMA is no exception, except in that her characters often reflect some of the own poverty and hardship that she faced in her daily life. They always do so with goodwill and Christian courage, to the point where it gets a little tiresome, but the bits of good writing and humanity that peek through the preaching are delicious enough for me to keep coming back for more. Eight Cousins is one of the lesser read works of LMA, but a favorite of mine. It departs from the usual "poor children maintain good attitudes in the face of struggle" theme by dealing with wealthy children, who maintain good attitudes in the face of struggle.

But I don't read it so much for the children as I do for the adults. I think one of the lesser appreciated things about LMA is that while her children might be a little too wholesome for modern audiences to stomach, there's very little wrong with the way she writes adult characters. Consider that the best parts of Little Women are the second half, when the girls are grown, and you'll see what I mean.

Eight Cousins features some wonderful grown up characters, and plenty of squeaky clean kids to help me get my childhood fix. Even better I think is "Rose in Bloom" the Eight Cousins sequel where Rose and the boys finally grow up and are therefore permitted enough faults and foibles to make their more saccharine parts go down much easier.

May 31, Manuel Alfonseca rated it liked it. Simple young adult novel about an orphan girl and her seven boy cousins. I liked "Little Women" best. Apr 26, Julie Davis rated it really liked it. 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 This was always my favorite Louisa May Alcott. We spend a year watching her being raised by her bachelor Uncle Alec who applies his medical training and new-fangled ideas like not wearing corsets. She also gets to be great friends with her seven male cousins who live nearby and that adds to the fun and life lessons in the book.

The overall lessons from both books are the same for true happiness, as we would expect, but the way Alcott gets there in this one is charmingly different. Jan 11, Mela rated it really liked it Shelves: It is a fact. 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 times but both then and now children are essentially the same despite what television or civilisation tell. Happy the boys and girls who tell all things freely to father or mother, sure of pity, help, and pardon; and thrice happy the parents who, out of their own experience, and by their own virtues, can teach and uplift the souls for which they are responsible Also, I have had fun reading about plays they have.

Of course, my next book will be a sequel: Young girls and fans of LMA. This book and its sequel "Rose in Bloom" are my favorite books from childhood - even more so than Ms. Her kindness and generosity are virtues that we could see more of in this world. 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. Mar 05, Elena T. Gli otto cugini, o La collina delle zie, tratta la storia della giovane Rose Campbell, una ragazza sola e malaticcia che, dopo essere rimasta orfana, va a vivere a Boston presso le prozie, matriarche della sua facoltosa famiglia.

Le morali dell'autrice sono iconiche: Un romanzo che non ha la pretesa di essere un capolavoro, ma una lettura piacevolmente godereccia. Apr 20, Amy "the book-bat" rated it really liked it Shelves: I enjoyed this one a lot better than Little Women. I enjoyed this book so much. Good lessons on doing the right thing and being a good person. Fast and easy read. I read this book more than once when I was between the ages of 8 and 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 I read this book more than once when I was between the ages of 8 and I was amused to see that the chapter when they are in the mountains and play charades is just as boring to me now as it was when I was a kid! The book has some modern ideas for being written in the s, but there are other ideas that are alarmingly sexist reminding you that despite Uncle Alec's forward-thinking it was indeed written in the s!

It is my favorite Alcott book by far, though. As a young reader, I was so completely smitten with the concept of a lonely orphaned girl moving into her Aunts' Boston mansion with seven boy cousins right there in the neighborhood to tease her and love her and admire her and vex her. Oh, how I longed for a clan of boy cousins just like the Campbells! Each boy has a distinct personality, delightful in their own ways, although the 12 year old twin boys, Geordie and Will, don't get much page time.

Comments on the Kindle edition: The character named Annabel Bliss in my print editions here is named Adriana Blish, and Debby the cook is Debby only in the first few chapters, when suddenly her name becomes Dolly for the rest of the story. Oh, and ancient old white-haired Aunt Peace, whom I always pictured as being at least 80 years old, is only 50!!!!!! Sep 07, Orinoco Womble tidy bag and all rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: 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 I first ran across this book over forty years ago, when I was nine or ten. As we read we discover that Rose is actually quite the heiress--she lives up on "the hill"--and that hill might just possibly be Beacon, though the name of the town is never given.

Due to the illustrations in my book in those days, I thought Rose had black hair, but for once I can forgive a protagonist for being rich, pretty, sweet, AND blonde. My only similarity with Rose is that I too once got near-frostbite on my hands walking home from school in a blizzard with no gloves on a day that started out like spring, as blizzard days often do in the Midwest.

My idiot mother, instead of rubbing my hands with snow to jump-start the circulation decided hot water would be better. I too cried out with pain, like Rose--repeatedly--though I didn't develop an interesting and life-threatening case of pneumonia to be nursed through.

The boy-cousins who all worship the ground she walks on spoiled me for the guys I went to school with; the Campbell boys are all cute, nice, polite, rich AND intelligent! This is lovely escapist stuff, as much for its author as for its readership--we now know that Alcott's girlhood entailed not-very-warm clothes, "cold water, scant food, and enforced cheerfulness at meals. Perhaps that was the seed that led to my fascination with things Asian in general. Fans of Louisa May Alcott or for those looking for something cozy to read.

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 What a charming, cozy little book--perfect for this time of year to read curled up with a blanket and some hot cocoa!

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 while. Nothing significant happens plot-wise, but it was a joy to watch Rose progress throughout the novel. I was not a fan of Rose at first--I thought she was too spoiled for her own good, but through her uncle's careful guidance and through her interaction with the seven boys, her aunts, and ever-faithful Phebe, Rose grew into one of my favorite characters.

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My favorite character, though, was Uncle Alec, and he has definitely made his way onto my all-time favorite literary characters list. Alcott writes this novel in such a way that the characters become very dear to the reader by the end, with their quirks and all, and I know that I, for one, am interested in following the fate of this family in the next novel, titled The Rose in Bloom , if I remember correctly. I found Alcott's language to be smooth, elegant, and yet easy to read.

It was intelligent and proper without being stuffy, which I particularly enjoyed--this book is worth reading if just for her style of prose. 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 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 pretender optimist texts of today, there's a sense of authenticity and earnestness that prevents this novel from sinking under its own sugary weight. Re-reading with the kids November 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.

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

LMA always seems to deliver on story line. Her characters are char Re-reading with the kids November Her characters are charming and the plot always grabs hold of my heart. This book was delightful to read but was so much better after I finished the sequel: Apr 17, Maddy rated it it was ok. 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.

Mostly, this made me want to re-read her other, more famous novels. 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. This was the first time I have read this book, as far as I know. 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. And Uncle Alec is the best. Anyone would love him to be their guardian. She also makes friends with Phebe, her aunts' young housemaid, whose cheerful attitude in the face of poverty helps Rose to understand and value her own good fortune. Each chapter describes an adventure in Rose's life as she learns to help herself and others make good choices.

Rose must define for herself her role as the only woman of her generation in her family and as an heiress in Boston's elite society. Motherless for most of her life, year-old Rose looks to her many aunts, her friends, and the housemaid Phebe as feminine role models.


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At the same time, she is suddenly confronted with a male guardian and seven male cousins, none of whom she knows well, after losing her beloved father, the only man in her life. Like all of Alcott's books for young people, the story takes a high moral tone. Various chapters illustrate the evils of cigar-smoking, " yellow-back " novels, high fashion, billiards , and patent nostrums , while promoting exercise, a healthy diet, and wholesome experiences of many kinds for girls as well as boys.

Alcott uses the novel to promote education theories and feminist ideas, many of which appear in her other books. For example, in choosing Rose's wardrobe, Uncle Alec rejects current women's fashions such as corsets , high heels, veils, and bustles in favor of less restrictive, healthier clothing. Although he discourages her from the professional study of medicine, he educates her in physiology , a subject her aunts consider inappropriate for girls, so she can understand and take charge of her own health.

Rose is prepared for a career as a wife and mother, yet is taught that she must take active, thoughtful control of her fortune so she can use it and social position to the best advantage of the larger community. The sequel to Eight Cousins is Rose in Bloom , which continues Rose's story into young adulthood, depicting courtship and marriage, poverty and charity, transcendental poetry and prose, and illness and death among her family and friends. The central character of the novel is the daughter of the recently deceased George Campbell, one of six Campbell brothers who are nephews of Aunts Plenty and Peace Campbell.

She is heiress to his considerable fortune. The Campbells, wealthy residents of Boston, are of Scottish descent, and some of them are engaged in the China trade. She has never known her mother and has lived apart from the rest of the Campbell family all her life. As the story opens, she is mourning the death of her father and awaiting with apprehension the arrival of her unknown guardian, Alec Campbell.