I have decided that I just love the author Louisa May Alcott. You most likely know her as the author of Little Women, but she has other books as well. I re-read Little Women back in August, from the large, fancy, illustrated book from which Mom read it to us girls years ago. It was a step back in time to my own childhood and hearing that story, but also just a great coming of age story, full of indirect lessons and morals, as well as a dabbling in love stories as the characters grow up. I giggled and got choked up at different times during that book.
Now I am reading An Old Fashioned Girl and it is full of similar lessons and morals. The overarching point is that pretty clothes and riches and STUFF are not necessary for happiness. When you get tired of the stuff or the stuff gets taken away, what are you left with? It follows a young girl through young womanhood, along her quest for independence and self sustenance in a time when most young women were busy going to balls and hunting for rich husbands. Her rich "friends" see in her a joy and excitement for life that they don't have, even in their glamorous routines.
Alcott's books are just feel good stories. I actually started reading An Old Fashioned Girl a few weeks ago even though I had several other books in progress already. They were all turning out to be somewhat gloomy (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte), on a death and destruction spurt in the story (Song of Redemption by Lynn Austin) or intellectual (Abba's Child by Brendan Manning). I needed to take a break and read a happy book. This one has served the purpose grandly and I highly recommend it. Also on my list to read (oh, there are so many books I want to read) are Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom, by Alcott.
Hmm, just for kicks, here is the list of books I want to read or re-read. I happen to have them listed in an app on my phone...you know me and lists.
Mount Vernon Love Story, Mary Higgins Clark
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
The Strenth of His Hand, Lynn Austin
Faith of My Fathers, Lynn Austin
Among the Gods, Lynn Austin
A Light to My Path, Lynn Austin (can you tell by now that I really like Lynn Austin??)
Fire by Night, Lynn Austin
All She Ever Wanted, Lynn Austin
Until We Reach Home, Lynn Austin
Teenage Girls, Ginny Olson
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Ya-Ya's in Bloom, Rebecca Wells
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells
Eight Cousins, Louisa May Alcott
Rose in Bloom, Louisa May Alcott
Persuasion, Jane Austen
Emma, Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful Girlhood, Mabel Hale
The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
Girl With a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
And those are just the books I currently own or have borrowed. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me! Feel free to comment with your thoughts on any of these books.