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Mountain-Laurel and Maidenhair by Louisa May…

Mountain-Laurel and Maidenhair (1887)

by Louisa May Alcott

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“Mountain-laurel and Maidenhair” is one of Louisa May Alcott’s longer short stories. It features an all-female cast, focusing on two young women, named Emily and Becky.

Emily is too fragile to do much of anything. Because of this unwanted physical idleness, her mental attitude is somewhat idle too.

Becky is the epitome of a dutiful nineteenth-century maiden, working in the kitchen, doing housework, etc., and she neither complains nor tires of it. These two opposite-natured women become friends.

In short, this is a tale of helping others and being dutiful. Although the message is a positive one, I found the story rather bland on the most part, though it has some good moments here and there. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Sep 18, 2014 |

Somewhere between a short story and novella, it belongs in the Garland for Girls catagory but has a little bit more spirit and less of overly sweet Victorian sentimentality. Emily goes to a farm in New Hapmshire to recover following an illness and learns homespun lessons from Becky. It's more deftly handled than I expected, though full of 'learn the charms of hard work' and 'the pure heart of someone who is poor'. However, the ending was clearly of another era and creeped me out a bit; Becky's parting gift includes a braid of her hair. Euew.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
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"Mountain-Laurel and Maidenhair" by Louisa May Alcott is a classic children's book about friends who live in the countryside.

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