The Premise: Dotty Rose moves into the house next door to Dolly Fayre. Both girls are just shy of their 15th birthdays and they become fast friends. Carolyn Wells give a glimpse of what life was like for two moderately well-to-do families in the early part of the 20th century. This first book in the Two Little Women series takes us through the end of their 8th grade year and the summer before they begin highschool.
My Take on the Book: I remember loving this book as a tween. It is one of the first book I remember reading that was more character driven. There really isn't a plot line other than the girls daily lives. For me, one of the most memorable m oments was when they decorated their rooms in matching styles, Dotty in pink and grey and Dolly in green and white. I wanted my room to look just like theirs, only I would have done green and yellow:)
This book was published in 1915 and although their houses sounded much like the one I grew up in, there are some glaring differences. In the book, the households had servants (plural) as a matter of course which we most definitely did not. It bothered me this time around that Wells made specific mention of the black cook who traveled with the Roses to the mountains when they went for their summer vacation, and her speech (completely uneducated) was mildly offensive. I realise that at the time the book was written, this was the norm, but now, it rankled. Other than that, it was enjoyable to revisit two very good friends from my past.
Side note: for all the pregnant bloggers out there looking for different and unusal names, this book had a few -- Girls were Dorinda (nickname Dolly), Flossie, and Maisie May. Boys were Todhunter, Tademus, Clayton and Lorillard. Bet you won't see many of those on the playground!
Rating: four stars
My Rating system: five stars - couldn't put it down and will read again
four stars - enjoyable read, but had some flaws
three stars - really didn't affect me one way or the other
two stars - too many problems to make the story enjoyable
one star - didn't even finish the book