How are you enjoying Eight Cousins so far? After all the heavy reading I’ve been doing lately, I find it a refreshing change. It’s such an easy read and I really enjoy immersing myself in Louisa May Alcott’s version of childhood.
Getting to know you . . .
Chapters 6 and 7 of Eight Cousins build on the budding relationship between Rose and Uncle Alec. I bet a lot of readers would have loved to have had an uncle or dad like Dr. Alec (I imagine Louisa probably wished her father was more like Alec). He’s so steady and sure of himself which made him a wonderful parent figure for Rose. He took his responsibilities toward her seriously and yet he also had a sense of fun. He surely loved Rose and relished the role he was privileged to playi in her life.
A mysterious room
“This chamber . . . had three windows one to the east, that overlooked the bay; one to the south, where the horse chestnuts waved their green fans; and one to the west, towards the hill and the evening sky. A ruddy sunset burned there now, filling the room with an enchanted glow; the soft murmur of the sea was heard, and a robin chirped ‘Good-night!’ among the budding trees.”
The view alone is worth the trip! There were other details . . .
This room is dreamy . . .
“Then her eye went on to the tall cabinet, where a half-open door revealed a tempting array of the drawers, shelves and ‘cubby holes’ which so delight the heart of children . . . A round old-fashioned mirror hung over it [the toilet table], with a guilt eagle a-top, holding in his beak the knot of blue ribbon that tied up a curtain of muslin falling on either side of the table, where appeared little ivory-handled brushes, two slender silver candle-stocks, a porcelain match-box, several pretty trays for small matters, and most imposing of all, a plump blue silk cushion, coquettishly with lace, and pink rosebuds at the corners . . .”
The room is mine??
Needless to say, Rose was enchanted. So you can imagine her delight when Uncle Alec announced that the room in fact was not his, but hers! The room was “part of the cure,” giving her “plenty of sun, fresh air, and cold water; also cheerful surroundings . . .” Work (also part of the cure) would be required to keep the room neat and clean.
This sounds like Louisa’s dream room. I wonder if in fact she had a room like that in her life?
A special haven
I remember as a child being allowed by my parents to completely redecorate my room. The bed was moved from the traditional center to the corner and I got to hang a very typical late 1960s lamp from the ceiling surrounded with red tassles and covered with the same flowered cloth that lay on the little round table below it. While moving the bed made the room a lot bigger, the cozy corner with special hanging lamp and table created a special place where I could think, journal, moon over my French teacher, listen to the Beatles and Joni Mitchell, learn to play my guitar, and stay up half the night writing songs.
That room was so special to me and I appreciated the fact that my parents allowed me to put my own touch on it. It became a haven and I thought of it when I pictured Rose in her wonderful room created and decorated with such love and care by her uncle.
What a lucky girl Rose was! I was too.
Did you have a special room of your own when you were young? If not, did you have some other haven you could retreat to?
I will get to chapter 7 in the the next post . . .
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