The Classics Club has just finished it’s 3rd Classics Spin and I am so thrilled I ended up with the book I did cause it was such a lovely read! *happy sigh!*
Rating: 4.0 – 4.0
I think I was in Jr. High when I first read this book. Reading it again as an adult was a completely different experience and I think I appreciated it so much more the second time around.
Alcott tells the story of 14-year old Polly Martin, a simple, wholesome country girl who is introduced to the fashionable world of her friend Fanny Shaw. Her old-fashioned manners, notions, and morals clash with the fast, giddy, party-going, boy-chasing girls in Fanny’s circle of friends. Despite all of Fanny’s trying to make a fashionable young lady out of Polly, Polly stays the sweet, innocent girl whose warm heart and simple ways unwittingly bring sunshine and peace to the Shaw household.
This piece was originally a magazine serial of only six chapters but Alcott later continued the story with the chapter “Six Years Later” when Polly is a young woman of twenty, bound and determined to make her life one of useful purpose.
Being an old-fashioned girl myself, I could totally identify with Polly. While fashions and styles may change over the decades, our desires and behaviors don’t alter all that much. There are still high fashions, fads, and alluring pop culture. Relationships are still formed around the fluff of what looks and feels good and parties still last until dawn. I think Polly’s success in staying true to her values and goals and seeing how her sweet character changed the lives of those around her makes the story so sweet and heartwarming and reassurance that it’s all worth it in the long run! Definitely worth a personal copy on my own shelf!
It’s a simple story so I won’t share anymore about the plot but here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Young men often laugh at the sensible girls whom they secretly respect, and affect to admire the silly ones whom they secretly despise, because earnestness, intelligence, and womanly dignity are not the fashion.”
“…a principle that can’t bear being laughed at, frowned on, and cold-shouldered, isn’t worthy of the name.”
“…with a very earnest prayer, Polly asked for the strength of an upright soul, the beauty of a tender heart, the power to maker her life a sweet and stirring song, helpful while it lasted, remembered when it died.”
I recommend this book if you’re in the mood for something on the sweet and sentimental side.
“I’m old-fashioned but I don’t mind it. That’s how I want to be as long as you agree to stay old-fashioned with me!” – Johnny Mercer/Jerome Kern