Book Review: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May AlcottY

I’m doing a book review today, and I hope I haven’t already posted it here. I first did this post on my personal blog, but I don’t think I’ve used it here, and I’d really like to because the book is great. Yes, it’s an older book, but if you give it a chance I think you’d love it. Bear in mind that it’s really a young adult book. First a blurb and then my review.

Blurb: In this sequel to Eight Cousins, Rose Campbell returns to the “Aunt Hill” after two years of traveling around the world. Suddenly, she is surrounded by male admirers, all expecting her to marry them. But before she marries anyone, Rose is determined to establish herself as an independent young woman. Besides, she suspects that some of her friends like her more her money than for herself. How can Rose tell who her real friends are? Is there anyone she can count on?

My Review:

I bet you’d like to know why I just read a young adult book written in the nineteenth century. Isn’t the language archaic? Isn’t the subject matter irrelevant in the modern world? Yes to the first question, no to the second.

It’s true that in the nineteenth century their language was a bit more formal than our own. It’s also true that they put words together in a slightly different way than we do. They didn’t know much about brevity either. I think they got paid by the number of words they wrote which might explain their wordiness.

However, and it’s a big however, the story line is excellent. Rose in Bloom is the sequel to Eight Cousins. Rose, whose parents died, is sent to live with her Uncle Alec where she meets and becomes a part of her family that she hadn’t known. The eight cousins are seven boys and Rose. Rose in Bloom is the story of what happens when the cousins grow up. 

I hate giving summaries of books, so I’ll just say that Rose in Bloom is a romance, a coming of age story, and is filled with attitudes and values that really matter. This is what I think Alcott wanted us to learn from the story.

First, be true to yourself. Don’t let people pressure you to do something you don’t want to do.

Second, think of other people and do things for them, not just yourself.

Third, be kind. 

Fourth, avoid bad things that tempt you to do wrong.

I wish that all people were taught these things as they were growing up. It would make such a difference in our world. So, encourage your young adult to read Rose in Bloom. I think if they can get past the formal language, they’d love the story. They’d also love Eight Cousins.

You can get the book for free at:

What’s your take on books written a long time ago? Would you read them?


About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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10 Responses to Book Review: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May AlcottY

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I didn’t know that Louisa May Alcott wrote any books besides the Little Women series. I’m keen to read this now. Sounds sweet!


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Love the line, “…paid by the number of words they wrote …”
    That’s the way I felt about Henry James and other writers of an era gone by.
    That said, I remember — when studying Hemmingway — that his “deal” was to use short choppy sentences and (mostly) small words. Critics disagree on WHY he did so… but I’ve always assumed he was thumbing his nose at writers like Henry James. And it’s well known that Hemm levied insults at Faulkner.
    BTW, my wife has a beautiful edition of Rose in Bloom that she inherited from her grandmother. [published by Roberts Brothers — Boston — in 1892 … with a glossy frontispiece.]


  3. I had not read this, I know that she wrote quite a bit and under other names. I did a post here on older folks reading more YA, and I love good ones. I will be on this one, thanks!


    • Elaine Cantrell says:

      I do think you’d enjoy it. It would be even better if you read Eight Cousins first, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy the story.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I enjoy reading YA books. I haven’t read this one, but it sounds like a lovely story.


    • Elaine Cantrell says:

      It was a very nice story. I recently reread another young adult book from Kelly Martin. It’s titled Crossing the Deep. This is a Clean Reads story so I don’t know if it’s still available or not. I think Kelly does a lot of scary stuff now, but this isn’t one of those. Crossing the Deep is a YA inspirational.


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