Aurelia Randall’s spinster sisters offer her oldest child a home. Aurelia sends Rebecca, her second child, instead. The eldest child is more conscientious and thus less easily spared by her widowed mother.
Rebecca is a basically a good child, but she’s also an imaginative, impulsive chatterbox.
Aunt Miranda, who likes things tidy, finds Rebecca’s imaginative chatter and impulsive behavior a sore trial.
Aunt Jane finds Rebecca’s liveliness a welcome relief from her sister’s unvarying routine.
After a rather rocky start, Rebecca turns her attention on getting a good education so she can help her mother pay off the mortgage and give the younger children a better chance in life.
In 1904, adults would have regarded Kate Douglas Wiggin’s Rebecca as good reading for young people. Today I’m afraid it would be regarded either as a dull, moral tract or as bizarre, fantasy fiction. Either interpretation shows how society has changed since 1904.
Wiggin’s Rebecca isn’t on a par with Anne of Green Gables or The Yearling but the story has charm and a quiet tongue-in-cheek wit that makes it still worth reading today.Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm By Kate Douglas Wiggin Project Gutenberg ebook #498 1904 Bestseller #8 My grade: B-
The book cover is from the Thorndike large print edition of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, one of several versions of the novel available in print today.
© 2014 Linda Gorton Aragoni