This is one of my favorite books of all time. I had owned the book for a while but I hadn’t actually read it until one of my friends mentioned it and talked about how she liked it so I figured I would read it. It very quickly became my favorite. 1) It’s by Louisa May Alcott and she’s brilliant, and 2) It’s about a girl who learns the difference between her and her friends and makes the best with what she has and her life.
If you haven’t read An Old-Fashioned Girl, it’s about a country girl named Polly who visits her friend Fanny and her family in the city. Very quickly, Polly realizes that even though the Shaw’s (her friend’s family) have money and are well-off, they aren’t actually very happy. So she does what she can to help them be happy and nicer towards each other. Fast forward a few years and they’ve all grown up and Polly moves to the city to try and earn some money for herself. She continues her friendship with Fanny and her family and does what she can to open their eyes and the eyes of those around them to how they can be better towards those who are poorer than they are. The Shaw’s end up going bankrupt and have to move into the house that their Grandma used to own. Polly sticks with them and helps them to make the best of their situation. Eventually, she becomes part of the family.
One of the big reasons why I like this book is because it’s about a poor girl who helps others to realize that money isn’t everything and that no matter what, they can do anything in their power to help those that are poorer than themselves. It teaches that it’s fun to go to parties and the opera some of the time, but that you can eventually get tired of it and that it’s better to know how to do things (like work, housework, sewing, etc.) so that you have something to do and aren’t always thinking about clothes or who who’s dating who or different scandals that friends or acquaintances get into. It’s better to be happy with what you have and to make the best out of your situation.
To some, there may be some feminist themes in this book, but personally, I feel that it can apply to any kind of situation we may be in. Whether we’re single, married, divorced, widowed, in college, starting a new job, moving to a new place, in between jobs, or whatever situation we may be in, this book can help us to realize that those who have it better than us may not be as happy as we think they are. It also teaches the importance of family and good friends and a good support system for when things get hard. Plus how helping others can make us forget about ourselves and can make us more thankful for what we have.
This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who’s having a hard time or just needs a reminder that it’s going to be okay.
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