Monday, December 31, 2012

Book 52: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The first paragraph of this review has nine-year-old spoilers for Angel.  I don’t know if anyone cares, but you have been warned.

I recently finished re-watching the series Angel and have discovered that I still get upset watching Fred’s final scenes.  I realized that it had been quite a while since I reread this book, which Wesley read to Fred before her death, and that this was an oversight on my part.  I have liked this book since I was a little kid and am hoping that it puts me in a good mood for next year. 

Sara Crewe was raised in India by her wealthy father and wanted for nothing in the world.  While this kind of treatment would have turned most kids into rotten little brats, Sara was a kind, old-souled young lady who appreciated everything that she had.  When she is seven, she is sent to school in London and has to be separated from her father who remains in India.  They both take this hard but struggle through without each other for the next few years, as Sara becomes the star pupil at Miss Minchin’s boarding school.  But on Sara’s eleventh birthday, Miss Minchin receives word that Captain Crewe has died and left Sara without a penny to her name.  Without so much as a comforting phrase, Sara is put to work at the school and treated despicably.  Her determination to act bravely in the face of hostility and retain her imaginative nature drives the novel to its happy conclusion.

This much beloved classic never gets old for me, although I’m sure that I was supposed to outgrow it by now.  Burnett does not talk down to anyone and even though Sara might be a little too perfect to be realistic, her writing and characters stand out.  I know that unless I die really young, that I will read this again and I would hope that more people would revisit it as well.

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