Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reading Journal: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

Book Description:
Rose Campbell has returned to the Aunt Hill from two years of travel with her Uncle Alec, and she has some shocking ideas. She's sick of being told that marriage is all a young woman is meant for. Even though her cousin Charlie has decided that Rose (and her fortune) are destined to be his, Rose vows to have nothing to do with romance until she's proved that she's a capable person in her own right. Still, Rose longs for a taste of fashion and society, and she throws herself into a whirlwind of parties. It's great fun at first to be surrounded by admirers, but before long Rose finds it difficult to know who her real friends are. The the person she trusts most makes a startling declaration. Will Rose make the right choice?

My thoughts:
In an earlier post I shared my thoughts on Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, which had been a favorite read of mine when my Grandma first shared the book with me. Several years later I was browsing a bookstore when I happened upon Rose in Bloom, the sequel to Eight Cousins .

Rose in Bloom begins with Rose returning from a European journey with her Uncle Alec. Everyone has grown up and are now young men and woman ready to enter adulthood. All the aunts have an opinion on how Rose should live her life and the importance of marrying one of her cousins (to keep the money in the family).

Rose has decided to become a philanthropist, but sets that aside for awhile and succumbs to attending parties and enjoying society. Soon Rose find out that society life isn't all that is meant to be and with the help of her Uncle Alec finds a way to balance fun and work and while beginning her work of philanthropy.

Charlie, her cousin, takes possession of Rose and is determined to win her love. Though Rose likes Charlie she is hesitant to commit to anything since Charlie likes to go with the wrong crowd and lives recklessly. Rose soon calls upon her cousin Mac to help her as she goes out in society. Mac, the bookworm, rises to the challenge and eventually decides he is going to "study" love. As Rose slowly discovers her calling she also discovers love may come from an unexpected source.

In re-reading Rose in Bloom I found I enjoyed it just as much now as I did when I first read it.  Yes, there are a few ideas in it that you don't really hear about today such as getting married to a cousin or becoming a philanthropist (do kids today even know what that is?). For the most part it is just a coming of age story of young woman and a young men. You will laugh and cry as Rose and her cousins struggle to find their way in the world.

If you like Louisa May Alcott's writing I highly recommend reading Eight Cousins and the sequel, Rose in Bloom . They have a different feel to them than her other reads, but are just as enjoyable. Highly recommended!



  1. Would this one and 8 Cousins be appropriate for my 9 year old? I'm thinking no on this one but maybe yes on the cousins. What say you? :)

    1. Eight Cousins would be great for your 9 year old. I think Rose in Bloom would be better understood when she was older.

      When I was young I had a hard time even reading Louisa May Alcott and Eight Cousins was the first book I made it through and I was probably 13 or 14.



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