Rose in Bloom (Eight Cousins, #2)
by Louisa May Alcott
5 out of 5 stars
Rose has returned from a year abroad to find that most of her boy cousins have quite grown up while she was away. Suddenly, they are all on the brink of adulthood and beginning to think of careers and romance. Rose must choose her path in life carefully while she begins to gradually bloom.
I love this marvelous sequel to Eight Cousins! It has a more mature purpose and some darker themes than the first book. There are themes about alcoholism, death, clan loyalty, elitism, philanthropy, and having strong moral principles. This is another Alcott book with moral lessons in every other chapter, but I love it! The morals are woven so nicely into the story, that I don’t mind being preached at in this wholesome way.
I love Phebe and Rose’s sweet friendship even more in this second book than in the first one! Those two girls are so close and affectionate, and they are fiercely loyal and ready to brave anything to protect their friend. It’s so refreshing to read about a strong female friendship!
All the boy cousins have great personalities and fun scenes, but the three with the most depth and development are the three oldest boys, Archie, Mac, and Charlie. I loved seeing how they grow and develop through the story, and especially how Rose herself influences them for good.