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review 2018-06-28 04:06
Be good to each-other and Work
An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott

Pretty much an edifying book packaged into a collection of stories of a wholesome country-girl visiting her city-girl friend. Second part, written later, continues the theme with the girls grown up, and the work-is-good general idea tackles also romance, flirtation, marriage and women's independence.


Whether it'll be received as a charming lesson or an eye-rolling inducing morality tale would be up to the reader, I guess. I wavered in times, but I have to admit I like Alcott too much to begrudge her some opinionated pushing.

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text 2018-06-26 06:36
Reading progress update: I've read 260 out of 360 pages.
An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott

"I don't know whether it is meant for a saint or a muse, a goddess or a fate; but to me it is only a beautiful woman, bigger, lovelier, and more imposing than any woman I ever saw," answered Fanny, slowly, trying to express the impression the statue made upon her.
We could n't decide what to put in the hands as the most appropriate symbol. What do you say?"
"Give her a sceptre: she would make a fine queen," answered Fanny.
"No, we have had enough of that; women have been called queens a long time, but the kingdom given them is n't worth ruling," answered Rebecca.
"I don't think it is nowadays," said Fanny, with a tired sort of sigh.
"Put a man's hand in hers to help her along, then," said Polly, whose happy fortune it had been to find friends and helpers in father and brothers.
"No; my woman is to stand alone, and help herself," said Rebecca, decidedly.
"She 's to be strong-minded, is she?" and Fanny's lip curled a little as she uttered the misused words.
"Yes, strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied; that is why I made her larger than the miserable, pinched-up woman of our day. Strength and beauty must go together. Don't you think these broad shoulders can bear burdens without breaking down, these hands work well, these eyes see clearly, and these lips do something besides simper and gossip?"
Fanny was silent; but a voice from Bess's corner said, "Put a child in her arms, Becky."
"Not that even, for she is to be something more than a nurse."
"Give her a ballot-box," cried a new voice, and turning round, they saw an odd-looking woman perched on a sofa behind them.
"Thank you for the suggestion, Kate. I 'll put that with the other symbols at her feet; for I 'm going to have needle, pen, palette, and broom somewhere, to suggest the various talents she owns, and the ballot-box will show that she has earned the right to use them.


Ahhh, Alcott! Sometimes, I get to these bits, and I remember encountering her writing as a child, and feeling such a wonder at these peaks into proto-feminism. There are ways to go here, but she was steering well.

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text 2018-06-23 13:01
Reading progress update: I've read 240 out of 360 pages.
An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott

"Then, my dear, can't you bear a little ridicule for the sake of a good cause? You said yesterday that you were going to make it a principle of your life, to help up your sex as far and as fast as you could. It did my heart good to hear you say it, for I was sure that in time you would keep your word. But, Polly, a principle that can't bear being laughed at, frowned on, and cold-shouldered, isn't worthy of the name."

"I want to be strong-minded in the real sense of the word, but I don't like to be called so by people who don't understand my meaning; and I shall be if I try to make the girls think soberly about anything sensible or philanthropic. They call me old-fashioned now, and I 'd rather be thought that, though it isn't pleasant, than be set down as a rampant woman's rights reformer," said Polly, in whose memory many laughs, and snubs, and sarcasms still lingered, forgiven but not forgotten.

"This love and thought and care for those weaker, poorer, or worse than ourselves, which we call Christian charity, is a very old fashion, my dear. It began eighteen hundred years ago, and only those who honestly follow the beautiful example set us then, learn how to get genuine happiness out of life. I 'm not a 'rampant woman's rights reformer,'" added Miss Mills, with a smile at Polly's sober face; "but I think that women can do a great deal for each other, if they will only stop fearing what 'people will think,' and take a hearty interest in whatever is going to fit their sisters and themselves to deserve and enjoy the rights God gave them.


There is this good natured, sensible tone to this chapter, where the proto-feminism clashes with the marching of time and the result is some "fair for it's time" result...


Oh, and in the plot I see maybe an early version of what turned out to be May Flowers.


And we always come back to work being good for the soul.



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review 2016-03-13 00:00
An Old-Fashioned Girl
An Old-Fashioned Girl - Akemi Maki An Old-Fashioned Girl - Akemi Maki 4.5 stars

This is old school Harlequin Romance at its best. Patience and her aunts are having some hard times. After their investments go bad, her elderly aunts are forced to rent out the family mansion. Patience is worried about the future; how is she going to financially care for her aunts after the rental period is over? She decides to look for a job, and fortune smiles upon her, she is offered a position working for the doctor who rented the family mansion. Julius is working on a book, and the housekeeper impresses upon Patience the importance of silence. Patience is not one of Patience’s better virtues, as the busy doctor is about to discover.

While Patience isn’t exactly quiet, this story is, and that’s what I liked about it. Soon after she starts working for the good doctor, the household is snowed in. Mrs. March becomes ill, and both Patience and Julius work together to care for her, as well as keep things running smoothly while they are trapped in the mansion (and wow, what a hardship that would be! Snowed in a beautiful mansion with a handsome guy! The only that would make that a better scenario would be a couple of fully charged Kindles already loaded to the brim with things to read!). While Patience thought her employer was sullen and grumpy at first, she quickly learns that he’s kind and charming, and that her original impression was completely wrong.

Before too long, Patience has fallen in love with the dreamy doc, but she realizes that there’s no hope for a future with him. He is wealthy, a highly sought after physician, and she suspects that he’s engaged to his unpleasant, but beautiful, neighbor. Patience is not pretty, something that several characters mention during the story; she’s plain, dresses in drab colors, and doesn’t think too highly of herself. However, we, the readers, see right away that she is kind, giving, and has an inner beauty that is quickly appreciated by all know her.

I enjoyed An Old-Fashioned Girl because we get to know both Patience and Julius, and they are both kind, deserving people. There’s not much flash to this story, and even the illustrations are restrained. While not flashy or beautiful, the art elegantly portrays the gentle courtship between the protagonists. And there are dogs! Julius is a dog lover, which made him even more likable to me.

The only complaint that I have is that two characters’ names were misspelled throughout the narrative, in addition to a few other jarring typos.

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review 2015-10-27 21:22
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott
bookshelves: published-1869, young-adult, us-boston, north-americas, music
Read from October 25 to 26, 2015



Description: Tells the story of Polly, the old-fashioned girl, her friendship with the wealthy Shaws of Boston and the lessons she learns about happiness and riches.

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