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Rose in Bloom (Puffin Classics) Paperback – September 1, 1995
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About the Author
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, and began her writing career at an early age, with short stories for newspapers and magazines. What began as a series of stories in the 1860s became the classic American children's novel we know today as Little Women.
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I love this book because Rose in independent, yet desires to serve others. Suffice it to say, she is a good role model for girls. I found her to be very much selfless. Even though Rose possesses personal wealth, she wishes not to shower herself with glories but to disperse it to those less fortunate. Creating a lifestyle considered progressive for a woman (especially in the 1800s), Rose in blooming into a mature woman of society with tender confidence.
Since I cannot describe Miss Rose Campbell as well as the author once did, here's a direct picture of our blossoming heroine:
"Not a remarkably gifted girl in any way, and far from perfect; full of all manner of youthful whims and fancies; a little spoiled by much love; rather apt to think all lives as safe and sweet as her own; and, when want or pain appealed to her, the tender heart overflowed with a remorseful charity which gave of its abundance recklessly. Yet, with all her human imperfections, the upright nature of the child kept her desires climbing toward the just and pure and true, as flowers struggle to the light; and the woman's soul was budding beautifully under the green leaves behind the little thorns." (Chapter 3, Rose in Bloom)
With her seven male cousins surrounding her, along with the odd assortment of various aunts and uncles, there are many who desire to see Rose grow. They cherish her presence among themselves and attempt to flatter her at every turn. Advances in love flourish as Rose once again settles among the people she knows best in the world.
Phebe Moore, Rose's befriended maid, too is experiencing her own way of making it into society -- only through a different course. Her life has always been destined to contrast Rose's, as her place on the social ladder started out on a much lower rung. Quickly she is learning how to climb higher though, and soon wins the heart of a familiar face, without intended design. However, the social implications simply couldn't converge for a winning marriage. So what can a girl do?
As usual, Louisa May Alcott has written another charming book. The story contains many good life lessons. As Rose tries life out on her own, sometimes becoming a bit too daring or risky with her choices, she soon makes her way back and settles into routine. In essence, the reader learns much of Victorian idealism and traditions of young adults during that time. I did so enjoy getting to catch glimpses of what all of those Eight Cousins became as they turn into adults.
In closing, enjoy some advice on life from dearest cousin, Mac Campbell ("the Worm" was always my favorite of Rose's cousins anyway):
"I have my dreams and aspirations, and some of them are pretty high ones. Aim at the best, you know, and keep climbing if you want to get on." (Chapter 2, Rose in Bloom)
In one section near the end, it seemed as if basic plot information was also missing. I could make no sense of it, and finally just moved on. I have not seen this problem with Alcott's other works in Kindle. It's hard to complain about something that was free, so I'll just say, if you want the gist of the story, this is fine. But if you want a smoother read, it would be worth paying for a better version.
I see this story in many newer romance but not as well told.
Rose isn't a sickly child anymore and she's on the threshold of becoming a fine woman ~~ and two of her cousins were in love with her. This book talks about her journey into adulthood and the dilemma she faced in choosing her husband ~~ and it's a wonderfully written book.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who has read "The Little Women" or even "The Eight Cousins" as Alcott's writing style is timeless. This is a classic book that I bought for my own children to read. This should be in everyone's library.
If sharing her stories with young people, the adult will find material still worth discussing (even in the 21st Century context): the loving and supportive relationships of friends and family, the concept and practice of honor, and a hope or trust in the virtue of simple happiness. A parent will not find a need to pre-censore text when reading this to young children.
An adult reader may rediscover with pleasure an old and gentle friend that asks little in the effort of reading, but leaves the reader feeling more peaceful at the end of each chapter.