Eight Cousins Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Eight Cousins

Rose Campbell has been orphaned and must go live with her uncle, but luckily, she is now near numerous cousins and aunts to help her through this difficult time! Privileged Rose Campbell is a young girl of Scottish descent who is barely 13 when she becomes orphaned and has to live with her Uncle Alec while adjusting to life without her dear father and a mother she never knew.
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When Rose arrives in Boston where Uncle Alec lives, though, he is not there to greet her due to his busy life as a doctor who is often away at sea. Instead, her Aunt Plenty welcomes her but spoils her with strong coffee for breakfast, pills for her supposed anxiety, and too much coddling. Although much family, including numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins are nearby, at first, Rose's only entertainment are her interactions with the housemaid, Phoebe, who is also an orphan. The girls happen upon one another in the great mansion when Rose hears Phoebe's great talent for singing as the young maid goes about her work. Despite the fact that Phoebe is older than Rose by a few years, Rose tutors the girl and teaches her to read and write.

When Uncle Alec finally arrives, he goes against Aunt Plenty and the other Campbell women by allowing Rose to dress simply, stop taking her daily pills, begin eating hearty meals that don't include coffee and its ensuing headaches, and start to exercise daily.

The remainder of the novel shows snippets of Rose's daily life among her aunts, uncles, and cousins as she comes of age and tries to decide how she might use her fortune in the future as well as whether or not she should stay with Uncle Alec or become a fixture in some other home belonging to another branch of her family tree. At the end, she decides boys need girls to take care of them, alluding to philanthropic uses for her money in the future and stays with Uncle Alec.
Best part of story, including ending: I enjoy this story for its innocent tone while it also showing girls in an unusually liberated late 1800s setting where they may make their own decisions given the proper support.

Best scene in story: When Uncle Alec finally arrives, he prepares a room in house for "himself" but actually is fitting it with furniture and decorations he thinks will amuse Rose.

Opinion about the main character: Rose Campbell is so likable because she does not seem exceptionally gorgeous, talented, or gifted in any way but is just an ordinary girl with the means to do something great some day anyhow.

The review of this Book prepared by Desiree Cho a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Rose Campbell, an orphaned heiress, is a little girl just getting to know her 19th century Boston family of shipping merchants. She has been left with two great aunts, Patience and Prudence, to await the arrival of her guardian, her unknown uncle Alex, a doctor. Because Alex had quarreled with his brother, custody of Rose was their attempt at reconciliation. Alex, a bluff, hearty man, invigorates his niece, getting her out of black mourning clothes and saving her from the horrors of a corset. He also insists that she read and study practical things, like math and Bacon's essays, instead of reading fairy tales.

Rose gets to know her various aunts and uncles and the seven boy cousins who all love her in one way or another. Alex gives his niece the opportunity to find out in which home she would be happiest by letting her to stay one month with each family. She has a good time at all, even gloomy childless widow Aunt Myra's, and finally comes home to make her choice.

The review of this Book prepared by M Darcy

Chapter Analysis of Eight Cousins

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Family, loving relations    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   uncle Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes City?    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Eight Cousins

Louisa May Alcott Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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