Book Review: Rosemary


Title: Rosemary

Author: Josephine Lawrence

Publisher’s Synopsis: 1922 novel. “The Willis house was very quiet. The comfortable screened porch was deserted, though a sweater in the hammock and a box of gay paper dolls on the floor showed that it had served as a play-space recently. Inside, not a door banged, not a footfall sounded. The late afternoon June sunshine streamed in through the hall window and made a broad band to the stairway which was in the shadow. The light touched the heads of three girls huddled closely together in the cushioned window-seat and turned the hair of one to gleaming, burnished golden red, another to a fairy web of spun yellow silk and searched out the faint copper tint in the dark locks of the third. The girls sat motionless, their faces turned toward the stairs, as silent as everything else in that silent house.”

I bought my first copy of this book while on vacation in 1995 somewhere in the French Quarter, I think.  I bought it because  I thought the cover looked lovely.  Mine looks like the one on the right.  Once I read the story, I immediately began buying other books by Josephine Lawrence.  I discovered, once I started purchasing them, that I liked almost everything that the publisher “Cupples & Leon” published for children just before and during the Depression years.  The stories are wholesome without being preachy.  The children are real people who do sometimes make mistakes, but they learn from them and there are consequences for poor behavior.

In the story, Rosemary and her sisters are left a little out of sorts when their mother is taken to a sanatorium for her health.  The girls have to adjust to taking on household duties and learning to relate to the uncle who is now responsible for them.  He’s a little stricter than they’re accustomed to, and it shows, but you do see that he loves them and eventually, they form very good relationships with him.

There are two other books in the trilogy:  Rosemary and the Princess and Rainbow Hill.  It’s been a while since I’ve read the books, but I can’t remember a single objection to anything in them.  Mrs. Lawrence wrote other books that I like as well.  Christine, Glenna, Next Door Neighbors, and The Berry Patch.

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