January 16, 2013

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Kate Douglas Wiggin, 1903
Sent to live with her
spinster aunts, Rebecca is
forced to grow up fast

I remember that I've read this story before, but I liked it better when it was called Anne of Green Gables. Not that Wiggin could have been influenced by L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables wasn't published until 1908, so I guess it's possible that it was the other way around...). It's just that the plots are so similar, with one exception: Anne is more interesting. Rebecca's not a horrible character; she's quirky and curious, but still feels like a simple characterization.

Rebecca is also not an orphan like Anne, but instead has been sent by her mother to live with her wealthy (and stodgy) aunts who have agreed to provide her with an education. A bright child, Rebecca quickly excels in her classes and charms people throughout the surrounding towns, including an adult male who seems to develop feelings for her as she grows older. That might be a stretch, as it seems a tad strange, but hey, who am I to judge 1903. (G)

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