Under The Lilacs (Illustrated)

by Louisa May Alcott

Other authorsAlice Barbar Stephens (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2013


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EirenikosPress (2013), 162 pages


Classic Literature. Young Adult Fiction. HTML: Readers who can't get enough of the quaint and quirky sisters in Alcott's Little Women will love Under the Lilacs, too. In it, two young girls set out to have a pretend tea party, but wind up finding a runaway circus performer, whose discovery sets off a chain of mysterious events. A whimsical read for fans that will delight young and old alike..

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LibraryThing member hemlokgang
Another lovely morality tale by Louisa May Alcott. She clearly was fascinated by the moral, physical, and emotional lives and upbringing of boys and girls as they make the transition from youth to young adulthood. Sweet!
LibraryThing member Bjace
A circus runaway and his trained poodle (the most engagine character in the book) find help and kindness in a small New England town. O.k.
LibraryThing member vonze
Under the Lilacs is a cute story by Louisa May Alcott, involving a circus runaway, his dog, and the family who takes him in.

For me, it started slowly, but picked up around the middle when the dog goes missing. I was slightly disappointed that it lacked the flair for dramatics that I like in
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Alcott's other work. It's just a straight-forward, cute, old-fashion children's story that's at home on the shelf with stories like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

Not Alcott's best in my opinion, but nice, and worth my time.
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LibraryThing member laytonwoman3rd
Boys used to dream about running away to join the circus, right? Lots of stories about that. Well, in this one, a boy ran away from the circus, where he had been happy until his father left for "the West", promising to come back to get him as soon as he saved up some money. Of course, he didn't
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return, and without his protection, young Ben began to suffer ill treatment at the hands of the man who ran the show. So off he struck, with faithful performing dog companion, Sancho (a poodle, yet), sleeping in barns, and generally falling on hard times...until he and the dog were discovered by two little girls whose mother cared for the "big house" on an estate with no master or mistress in residence. Soon enough, along comes the young mistress and her recuperating even younger brother (why is there always such a time gap between siblings in these stories?) to settle in. Lovely frolics and tea parties and poetry recitations ensue, all the while Ben's getting educated and properly clothed, and brother Thorny is grower stronger after his long and mysterious illness (illnesses never had names in the 19th century, did they?) and Betty and Bab have such fun...until Bab fails at minding Sancho and the poor critter gets kidnapped to be taken, we assume, back to the circus, and Ben gets word that his father has died in California... *sigh* There are fine pen and ink drawings illustrating the copy I read, and there's a happy ending as preposterous as it is predictable. I contemplated skimming from time to time, but in the end I managed to read it all. If I were raising young people in the late 1800's, I suppose this is just the sort of book I would have wanted them to read. But honestly, no one in it, with the possible exception of Bab, behaves in a recognizable human manner, and I don't think that's just because I'm reading it so far out of its time.
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