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Anna and Her Daughters (1958)

af D. E. Stevenson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1473187,438 (3.75)21
When their father dies, none of the three Harcourt girls are particularly upset. The loss of the family's income, however, is not something so easily overcome. When their mother Anna discovers that they have been left penniless, she decides to move them out of London and back to her hometown in Scotland. Helen, the demanding eldest sister, decamps almost immediately to Edinburgh in search of the excitement and refinement Ryddelton cannot offer. Rosalie, having always lived in her more beautiful eldest sister's shadow, begins to come into her own. And Jane finds an education she could never have gotten at Oxford in her work as a secretary for Mrs Millard, an eccentric biographer currently residing in the village. Anna's daughters seem to be settling down to their new life until Ronnie, a tall, broad-shouldered scientist, steps into their lives ...… (mere)
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The beginning of the book was the best. Jane and her sisters Helen and Rosalie, along with their mother, leave London for Scotland when they find that their income is reduced. The story is told through the eyes of Jane, who is astounded at the way her mother slips comfortably into a middle class country life. Her sisters are not as happy. Helen, the oldest, is set upon always getting what she wants no matter what. And Rosalie is the indecisive sister, always being compared to the others and never really knowing where she stands. Meanwhile, Jane gets to know her new Scotland home and finds it lovable. She begins working for an eccentric neighbor lady who is writing a book. This is the part of the story where she gains a little confidence and finds her vocation.
The remainder of the story uses some typical D.E. Stevenson tropes, including missed opportunities, a mismatched marriage, a sad child, and the compression of years of experiences into a few paragraphs. This part of the book I found less satisfying, but still very readable. ( )
  Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
I anticipated this book to be overly sappy. The quick and dirty review: A widowed mother brings her three near-adult daughters home to Scotland after learning she can no longer afford high society London. Her daughters couldn't be more different from each other and yet all three Harcourt sisters fall in love with the same man...cue the violins and weepy music.
Now for the long version:
Told from the first person perspective of youngest daughter, Jane, life turns upside down when mother decides to leave London and return to her pre-marriage home of Ryddelton, Scotland. Gone are the dreams of going to Oxford for an education. But Jane, not being as pretty nor outgoing as her sisters (as mentioned way too many times), soon meets Mrs. Millard and learns she is capable of becoming a successful (and published) author. Her dreams are only overshadowed by her eldest sister, Helen, when she wins the affections of the man whom with all three sisters fall in love. Of course the prettiest sister wins the boy, but not all is lost. It's not really a spoiler alert to say all four Harcourt women (mother Anna included) find their way to some kind of romance.
Jane is a wonderful character. Caring and considerate, she demonstrates perfect manners no matter the situation. I found myself admiring her for her attitude. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 25, 2017 |
A quaint little old-fashioned novel. Jane, the narrator, moves with her mother and sisters from London to a small town in Scotland after their father dies and leaves them unprovided for. Her sister Helen steals a boyfriend from the other sister, Rosalie, the same man that Jane herself liked very much, and complications ensue. While I enjoyed the novel, in retrospect I’m annoyed by the free pass given to Ronnie for his abandonment of Rosalie and kowtowing to Helen, while Helen is made so clearly to be the villain. ( )
  jholcomb | Jul 12, 2013 |
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When their father dies, none of the three Harcourt girls are particularly upset. The loss of the family's income, however, is not something so easily overcome. When their mother Anna discovers that they have been left penniless, she decides to move them out of London and back to her hometown in Scotland. Helen, the demanding eldest sister, decamps almost immediately to Edinburgh in search of the excitement and refinement Ryddelton cannot offer. Rosalie, having always lived in her more beautiful eldest sister's shadow, begins to come into her own. And Jane finds an education she could never have gotten at Oxford in her work as a secretary for Mrs Millard, an eccentric biographer currently residing in the village. Anna's daughters seem to be settling down to their new life until Ronnie, a tall, broad-shouldered scientist, steps into their lives ...

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