This is Louisa May Alcott’s first novel, written at the age of seventeen. Among the short stories, plays and poems she wrote in her teens, she apparently also succeeded in a entire book. I haven’t read Little Women, as unfortunate as that sounds, though I do have a copy of the book. I tend to pick up shorter stories to read first, which is why this was read first.
This book is a romance, and a very sweet one. It is about a young lady named Edith, who serves as a governess (Though practically the same age) to Lady Amy. She is well loved, though very poor, and in the beginning of the book she is not allowed to socialize or take part in any of the home events unless specifically asked to. Edith is a sweet girl, gentle and innocent. She is loved by all members of the household – except for the unmarried Lady Ida. Edith is despised by Lady Ida, for Edith is still young and beautiful, despite her lowly birth, and Lady Ida is growing less beautiful everyday, and is jealous of Edith, and how she attracts more potential suitors. Ida’s hatred grows stronger when Lord Percy visits, and when he is drawn to Edith. When Edith does something incredibly brave, she is welcome to events, and treated as a daughter.
This story focuses on Edith, and her relationship with Lord Percy, as well as the other characters n the story. Many different things happen to Edith, but she always manages to show bravery and respect. She would be a magnificent role model for little girls.
It would be hard to find a main conflict in this book, since so many things happen to poor Edith, and all because of the horrid Lady Ida. Somehow, even though Lady Ida treats Edith so terribly, she isn’t that character that you hate, in fact, you can almost pity her.
The characters were likable, and the plot as nowhere near dull. Though it wasn’t what I would call fast paced, it was definitely engaging.
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