This sequel to "Eight Cousins" is one of Louisa May Alcott's masterpieces. I loved it as a girl, I loved it as a teenager, and I love it now. Even though it was written in Victorian times, it has a truth and honesty to it that survives into today--and the problems that Rose encounters as a young woman will be familiar to any modern reader.
Why are women fascinated by--and drawn to--the bad boys of this world? That question did not originate with James Dean or "The Leader of the Pack." It is very much alive in this book, as Rose returns from Europe to find her eight cousins very much grown up--and very, very interesting. In particular, her wild and handsome cousin Charlie, now grown into a wild and handsome man, captures Rose's heart. But Charlie is on a dangerous path to alcoholism and self-destruction. Will Rose see this in time, and will she turn to the man who really loves her with all his heart and soul? And what of her dear friend Phoebe, whose ethnic background might keep her from the man she loves?
Sounds like a 2002 soap opera. But it isn't--and it is written with such depth, such love, and such talent that it has survived over a century. Alcott was so much more than "Little Women" and this book, among others, proves it.