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Rainbow Hill by Josephine Lawrence

Rainbow Hill (1924)

by Josephine Lawrence

Series: Rosemary (2)

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This is the sequel to my childhood favorite Rosemary, and I'm very happy to report that it did not disappoint, that the characters of Rosemary, her younger sisters Sarah and Shirley, and big brother Dr. Hugh Willis all stood up to the passage of time (mine, not theirs...this story picks up very shortly after we left them all at the end of Rosemary), and that it wasn't just the favored place in my heart that made re-reading the original a satisfying experience over the years. The Willis family is fatherless; we are never told why. In Rosemary, they are motherless too, for the most part, as Mrs. Willis is away "resting" at a sanatorium for the entirety of that book. She has come home in the second installment, but the whole family will be spending the summer at a rented farm while renovations are made to their home in town to accommodate new office space for Dr. Hugh. Out in the country the girls meet many orphans: two boys from the agricultural college who are working under the farm manager for the summer, and a family of children, the oldest a fifteen year old boy and the youngest an infant, trying to run a farm and keep off the town's radar so they won't be separated and sent into care. There's an innocence to these stories, but underneath some fairly serious themes are explored, and so well handled that the reader never feels mugged by the "moral". Above all, Josephine Lawrence can make you love and believe in her characters in much the way Louisa May Alcott could do, with less saccharine and almost no pathos. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Nov 2, 2014 |
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This book picks up the story of the Willis family which began in Lawrence's novel Rosemary. Rosemary and her younger sisters, Sarah and Shirley, spend a summer in the country with their mother while big brother Dr. Hugh stays in town to oversee an addition to their home to accommodate his new office space. The girls meet a family of orphans trying to save their farm, as well as two young agricultural college students, and learn some valuable lessons about life while enjoying the pleasures and hazards of farm life.
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