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Eight Cousins

by Louisa May Alcott
299 pages, General Fiction
Reviewed by Nienna

Delightful, clean family story.

Plot

[Note: This book is followed by "Rose in Bloom."]

Thirteen-year-old Rose is a delicate orphan stuck in the middle of six aunts and seven (oh horrors) boy cousins. When Uncle Alec, her guardian, arrives, Rose's world is turned upside down as she follows his treatment to make her a strong, merry young lady.

Morality

Very good. Among other things, selflessness without reward is shown and highly upheld.

Spiritual Content

They attend church and act out a story from the Bible. Alcott herself was a Transcendentalist and so did not believe in the deity of Christ, and in her books she puts a great deal of emphasis on 'living good lives.'

Violence

A boy almost loses his eyesight by overstraining them. A girl falls from her horse and twists her ankle. A girl pierces her ears, which is described as very painful.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A few characters smoke cigarettes but they are rebuked and stop. One character drinks a little, but he stops, also.

Sexual Content

Family kisses each other. One of the cousins tries to trick Rose into kissing her other cousin under the mistletoe.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A couple of boys use some slang, but their mother doesn't approve so they stop. There is one mention of corsets.

Conclusion

Full of delightful characters, merry little adventures, and deep moral truths, this book is more of a treasure each time I read it. All of the many characters have strong personalities and are easy to relate to and like. I particularly appreciate how each character has faults and weaknesses, which they then grow beyond. One thing to look out for is that the book is not Christian, though upholding Christian morals, and so the characters become more virtuous without the help of God.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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