Meet Rose Campbell, a pretty, thirteen-year-old girl living in 19th-century Boston. Just orphaned, Rose is taken to live with relatives—rich and kind but fussy aunts who feel very, very sorry for her. They treat her as if she is direly ill and have her half-convinced of it herself. Rose really is drenched in self-pity until she gets a visit from her Uncle Alec.
A doctor with odd, modern ideas on how to raise young ladies, Uncle Alec insists that Rose not follow the latest fashions. He wants his niece to be healthy and proudly intelligent, much to the aunts’ despair. Rose soon meets her seven boy cousins, a rambunctious lot and each one brimming with personality.
Readers who like Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women should try this story. Eight Cousins is written in a more light-hearted way than the saga of the March sisters but there is the same family humor and warmth. Eight Cousins and its sequel Rose in Bloom are considered classic books which are fortunately very enjoyable to read--or listen to on audio.