Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

Eight Cousins

The Aunt-Hill

subjects: Classic Fiction

Description

Life with seven boy cousins isn’t quite what Rose expected. Left an orphan after her father’s death, Rose Campbell is sent to live at the “Aunt Hill” with her six aunts and seven rowdy boy cousins. For someone who is used to a girl’s boarding school, it all seems pretty overwhelming. Her guardian, Uncle Alec, makes her eat healthy things like oatmeal, and even tries to get her to give up her pretty dresses for drab, sensible clothes. Will Rose ever get used to her uncle’s crazy notions and all her noisy relatives?

The sequel, Rose in Bloom, is also available.

Excerpt

Rose sat all alone in the big best parlor, with her little handkerchief laid ready to catch the first tear, for she was thinking of her troubles, and a shower was expected. She had retired to this room as a good place in which to be miserable; for it was dark and still, full of ancient furniture, sombre curtains, and hung all around with portraits of solemn old gentlemen in wigs, severe–nosed ladies in top–heavy caps, and staring children in little bob–tailed coats or short–waisted frocks. It was an excellent place for woe; and the fitful spring rain that pattered on the window–pane seemed to sob, “Cry away: I’m with you.”

Rose really did have some cause to be sad; for she had no mother, and had lately lost her father also, which left her no home but this with her great–aunts. She had been with them only a week, and, though the dear old ladies had tried their best to make her happy, they had not succeeded very well, for she was unlike any child they had ever seen, and they felt very much as if they had the care of a low–spirited butterfly.

They had given her the freedom of the house, and for a day or two she had amused herself roaming all over it, for it was a capital old mansion, and was full of all manner of odd nooks, charming rooms, and mysterious passages. Windows broke out in unexpected places, little balconies overhung the garden most romantically, and there was a long upper hall full of curiosities from all parts of the world; for the Campbells had been sea–captains for generations.