Before I ramble on and on about my numerous cooking calamities let's return to the book that I am meant to be writing about, Eight Cousins. This is another of the books that my mum read to my siblings and I when I was was younger, I have also read it multiple times since. When I pick up Eight Cousins I think of long walks, quiet afternoons reading, baking, playing outside in the sunshine, trying new things and just generally doing all the things I love doing most. Books like Eight Cousins are great because so many of the experiences the characters have are realistic. For example, Rose learns to horse-ride, even-though, initially, she is terrified of horses. There are numerous things in everyone's life that they are afraid of, but overcome. When I was younger I used to be very frightened of horses as well. They were so very big and powerful, and I was so extremely small! I managed to get over this initial fear however, after taking horse-riding lessons with my friend Libby for just over a year. I'm still not completely confident around horses but I am able to walk, trot and canter without freaking out. Well, that is if I can still remember any of the things I used to know!
Louisa May Alcott writes about all of her characters in a way that makes them connect with you as the reader, each of them have their strengths and weaknesses,’ just as in real life. I'm not sure who my favourite character is in Eight Cousins, however, one that is particularly inspiring and heart-warming is Phoebe. She is a lovely young girl who is employed at Rose's great aunt's. Rose and Phoebe immediately strike up a lasting friendship despite their differences. Phoebe comforts Rose in her small sorrows and misfortunes without envying Rose's wealth, family or education. Despite how hard she has to work Phoebe is still optimistic, joyful and hard-working. She is also described as being incredible at singing, and thoroughly enjoys entertaining people with her voice as she preforms her work around the house.
Well, that's me done. My hope is that you will have been persuaded to pick this book off your shelf, dust it off, and give it a read (I know copies of Eight Cousins do still exist in local libraries). Louisa May Alcott is a favourite author of mine and I encourage that you try reading Little Women as well. Eight Cousins may not be as well-known, but it is a wonderful story about growing up, making friends, and facing life with strength and kindness. I am convinced that if you give this book a try you will come to love Rose Campbell as much as I have.