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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Paperback – January 29, 2010
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Author Jack London wrote Kate Douglas Wiggin a letter about her classic Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm from the headquarters of the First Japanese Army in Manchuria in 1904: "May I thank you for Rebecca?... I would have quested the wide world over to make her mine, only I was born too long ago and she was born but yesterday.... Why could she not have been my daughter? Why couldn't it have been I who bought the three hundred cakes of soap? Why, O, why?" Mark Twain called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm "beautiful and warm and satisfying."
Who is this beguiling creature? The irrepressible 10-year-old Rebecca Rowena Randall burst into the world of children's book characters (and her new life in Maine) in 1903 when storybook girls were gentle and proper. A "bird of a very different feather," she had "a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths.... " Soon enough, she wins over her prim Aunt Miranda, the whole town, and thousands of readers everywhere with her energetic, indomitable spirit. This beautiful trade edition features the artwork of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm's original illustrator Helen Mason Grose, with 6 full- color plates and 32 pen-and-ink drawings. (Ages 9 and older) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Beautiful and warm and satisfying." --Mark Twain --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about Rebecca's childhood from age 10 to about 18. She was sent away from the farm to live with her maiden aunts, Miranda and Jane, in the small town of Riverboro when her father died, leaving her mother impoverished and trying to raise 7 children alone. The aunts aren't at all wealthy, but certainly more prosperous that the family down on the farm.
Aunt Miranda is stern and unyielding, while Aunt Jane is far more gentle and kind. The sprightly, precocious Rebecca soon learns how to balance the two, and though they'd never admit it, she brings life and fun to their small home. She is a bright student and unusually perceptive of human interactions for such a young child. There isn't a lot of action in the novel; it mainly revolves around the small town life of school and church and the typical gossiping and meddling that happens in a small town. It reminded me of the early years of Anne of Green Gables. Rebecca endures trials and tribulations and triumphs but never loses her spirit and love of people and love of life.
I have downloaded more of this author's books in hopes that they will be as great as this one was. If you liked Anne of Green Gables, or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, you will like more of Lucy Maud Mongtgomery's series like the "Emily" books or her "Pat" books. You also will like books by Louisa May Alcott such as An Old-Fashioned Girl and Eight Cousins (and its sequel Rose in Bloom). Although it has been a little while since I read them, Pollyanna and A Little Princess are also classics along this line and VERY readable. And I believe that every one of these books is a FREE Kindle download away...
This free Kindle edition of March 17, 2006 was fine, no editing issues of note, just the usual line break/margin unevenness. Actually the first nice usage that I have seen of italics in this book, a long passage that is a story that Rebecca writes in italics, very readable.
I hadn't written very many reviews. However, in considering Kindle book choices, I was sorry to see so few reviews of Kindle versions, especially when comparing two or more similar electronic renderings. So I am ramping up my reviews while I have the opportunity.