Eight Cousins, or The Aunt-Hill is the story of Rose Campbell, a lonely and sickly girl who has been recently orphaned and must now reside with her maiden great aunts, the matriarchs of her wealthy Boston family. When Rose's guardian, Uncle Alec, returns from abroad, he takes over her care. Through his unorthodox theories about child-rearing, she becomes happier and healthier while finding her place in her family of seven boy cousins and numerous aunts and uncles. She also makes friends with Phebe, her aunts' young housemaid, whose cheerful attitude in the face of poverty helps Rose to understand and value her own good fortune.
The sequel to Eight Cousins is Rose in Bloom, which continues Rose's story into young adulthood, depicting courtship and marriage, poverty and charity, transcendental poetry and prose, family and friends.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) was an American novelist and poet best known as the author of the classic Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist.