A pleasant, simple story
A young Italian orphan is brought to an English country manor as a companion to two children. Having grown fond of the family over the years, the main character is at odds when they learn of their inheritance, that could bring them happiness and possibly cause the family pain.
This, her first novel, was penned by Louisa May Alcott when she was 17 years old and found among her letters in the Houghton Library reading room at Harvard University many years later. Don’t expect it to read like her other books, such as Little Women. It is not going to be on that level simply because of the life she had lived up to writing that novel versus this one. This book is a sweet, simple story that reads like a young adult with little life experience had written it. Yet, still well done.
The story is less than 200 pages, and I could’ve easily read it in a day had I had the time. It was a most relaxing read. I even enjoyed learning the history of the author’s writing career in the afterword. Though the story moved along at a slow pace, some might say boring, I found it to be just what I needed after having read a terribly written book.
The characters of this book are uncomplicated, simple in their construct but not underdeveloped that you do not understand who they are or their desires. The only issue I had with the story itself was a couple interactions that weren’t entirely realistic and yet again sweeter than it would’ve been in real life. In these cases, the 1997 movie portrayed these parts better than the book, though I still preferred the book more so than the movie in most other aspects.
I liked this book as the quick, simple read I was hoping for, and it will be staying in my little library for years to come.
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