Thursday, April 16, 2015
Eight Cousins - Review
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: Rose Campbell is the only girl in a family full of boys. Recently orphaned she arrives at "Aunt Hill" to wait for her new guardian, the mysterious Uncle Alec who she has never met. When he arrives, he turns her whole life on it's head by insisting that she run about and even play with those horrid boys. But Rose quickly discovers boys aren't quite so bad. Friendships develop, adventures occur and much fun is had by all.
Why I Picked This Book: This one of my absolute favorite books as a child so I was curious to reread it as an adult.
My Impression: I don't remember where or when I got my copy of Eight Cousins though I remember what it looked like. It was a regular paperback size though the paper was really thin for some reason and the binding only held up for the first 100 reads or so. And read it I did! While I had never really connected with Little Women (the whole Laurie/Amy/Jo thing never sat well with me but that's another review) I instantly was caught up in Rose's adventures. I loved the idea of the old houses full of nooks and crannies and brimming with treasures brought home by generations of sea captains. Rose with golden curls and leanings towards vanity and impatience was a girl who was easy to like and how could I not enjoy the mischief caused by the hoard of cousins.
When I was thinking of books for my Classics Club list Eight Cousins came up as one I really wanted to reread especially since I had reread and very much enjoyed The Secret Garden, another childhood favorite, a few months before.
I'm not sure Eight Cousins holds up quite as well as The Secret Garden. As is typical for the time the story is incredibly virtuous. In this case it's a bit on the side of tooth-achingly wholesome and the "Clan" is a little on the overly perfect side. There's not a huge amount of character development though I did love what there was. Seeing Rose come out of her shell and watching her friendship with Phebe was really lovely and I liked seeing her interact with the boys - especially with Mac. The imagery of the warehouses and the trunks full of treasures is wonderful and I would dearly love to see a fireworks show like the one described early in the book.
While I didn't enjoy this as much in adulthood as I did as a child I can see what drew me to the book.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I will. I want to reread it's sequel Rose in Bloom as I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as a child but I think I would like it better now. I'm also looking forward to rereading Little Women.
Would I Recommend this Book?: I'm not sure anyone who didn't already have a connection to this one would be blown away.
Challenges Met? The Reading Assignment Challenge (April), Library Challenge