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The Quiet Little Woman: Tilly's Christmas, Rosa's Tale : Three Enchanting Christmas Stories Hardcover – September 1, 1999
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Everything about The Quiet Little Woman: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott is heartwarming, starting with the extraordinary tale of its origin. Alcott wrote the story for three girls who emulated Little Women's March sisters by founding their own literary publication, but the magazine was lost for many years; this story is now being published in book form for the first time. The Quiet Little Woman tells the story of Patty, a young girl living hopelessly in an orphanage, who is rescued at Christmas time by a kindly woman named Aunt Jane. Also collected in this small, beautiful (and not coincidentally, Christmas stocking-size) volume are two of Alcott's other holiday stories; one of them, "Rosa's Tale," is a really lovely fable about a horse who speaks at midnight on Christmas Eve.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Three Christmas stories, at least one of which was "rediscovered" in a children's magazine of its day. The first and longest selection is about Patty, an orphan whose greatest dream is to be adopted; instead, she is given a place as a servant in the Murray family. Through Patty's loving nature, plus the Christmastime intervention of Aunt Jane, the family members realize that they have a gem in their midst. The other two stories are shorter-one involves a poor girl whose kindness to a tiny bird prods a mean neighbor into an act of charity; the other features a horse, able to speak through the Christmas miracle, that tells her story of kindness and cruelty suffered at the hands of humans. All three pieces have an undeniably 19th-century tone that may strike today's readers as too sentimental and quaint to be interesting. However, Alcott's fans will zip right through these stories and take pleasure in the satisfyingly happy endings, in which goodness and endurance triumph over adversity.-E.M.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The first story in the book is my favorite and is entitled, "The Quiet Little Woman". This story is about a 13 year - old orphan living in an orphanage. Patty was a frail and bashful orphan drained of much of her hope and happiness. She worked very hard in the orphanage but never seemed to be adopted. One day a lady named Miss Murray met her at the orphanage and encouraged her. A little later Miss Murray's sister-in-law comes to the orphanage and adopts Patty. During her first year at Miss Murray's sister-in-law's house Patty is treated with kindness, fed well, was not given too much work, was clothed well, was allowed to go to church and was not scolded very often. And yet something major was missing in Patty's quest for real happiness. She was basically a devoted and faithful servant to all the family but no one ever showed her any love as they did to the other members of the family. No one praised her for her efforts. No one seemed to think she had any hope beyond her daily work. Christmas comes and Miss Murray (Aunt Jane) invites the whole family to her house for Christmas. The Murrays come but they don't bring Patty with them and Aunt Jane is extremely upset. The family tells Aunt Jane their true feelings about Patty asking the question, "You didn't expect us to bring our servant girl with us, did you?" At this Aunt Jane pulls out a number of letters that Patty sent her revealing how lonely and unloved Patty felt in the Murray household. You will want to read the story to find out how these letters changed the people's lives and Patty's too. You will shed a tear or two as you read this tender story.
The second story in the book is called, "Tilly's Christmas" and is a tender story showing the importance of the Golden Rule and loving your neighbor as yourself. Tillie and two other girls are on their way home from school for the Christmas vacation. Tillie's two friends are talking about all the presents they are getting but poor Tillie knows she won't have any because it takes all her mother has to provide a little warmth and food. The girl's fantasize about finding a wallet with a lot of money in it as they walked through the snow. Suddenly Tillie yelled and said she found the wallet. When the other girls looked they saw Tillie lifting a crippled cold and frightened robin from the snow. Tillie exclaimed that she received her Christmas present. The other girls just mocked her. When Tillie got home she and her mother treated the robin with love and tenderness. You will want to read this story to see how Tillie was rewarded for her kindness and love to the robin.
The final story is entitled, "Rosa's Tale" and is based on the legend that animals are given the ability to talk for one hour beginning at midnight on Christmas Eve, in memory of the animals who lingered near the manger when Jesus was born. After everyone in the house including the family cat gets a Christmas present, Belinda remembers one who had not received anything, the family horse, Rosa. Belinda rushes out to the barn with an apple, cake and Christmas wishes from the family. As the horse begins to rub her nose against Belinda, a miracle occurs. For one full hour the horse begins to tell Belinda all about the joys and sadness of her life. Your will laugh and cry as you read the horse's account of her life.
At the very end of the book there is a brief commentary on the three Christmas tales and also an interesting brief biography about Louisa May Alcott.
This book is a quick enjoyable read and teaches some really important morals. It will also fill the reader's life with more love and kindness at the Christmas season or anytime during the year.
It contains three short stories involving children, animals and developing good attributes. It will be a great read-out-loud book or an easy read for a grandchild wanting some alone time.
It has an extra value because the first story was written by Alcott for five sisters who were starting their own literary publication. She sent the story as a gift to be used in their publication.
Any grandmother or young mother would enjoy this book as a new Christmas tradition for their family.
Timid Patty is a small girl who has been adopted into a new family. Her story (entitled "The Quiet Little Woman") is the first one in this book.
Instead of considering Patty as a daughter, the new family treats her like a servant, always making her do the extra work around the house. Patty only has one small glimmer of love around her--and it's 20 miles away. Can the Christmas spirit bring love & joy closer to home?
You'll also cherish the second tale in this book "Tilly's Christmas", which tells a story about the most important gifts you can give.
The third story is "Rosa's Tale"... where a special Christmas surprise befalls a young girl named Belinda, and a lovely bay mare.
These 3 stories make a great read for anyone who enjoys the classics, and the book would be especially splendid to have on a cold Winter day.