A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Book Review

In honor of today's Royal Wedding, I decided to review this beautiful short novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Though A Little Princess was written as a children's book, I could not help but find it utterly fascinating and endearing, causing me to stay up late in order to finish reading the same day!

Written in 1905, Hodgson-Burnett's novel follows the young life of Sara Crewe - the daughter of a doting young soldier, and whose mother sadly died in childbirth.

Born in India, Sara's early years were ones filled with the enjoyment of the company of her father, who spoils her with anything she desires (and which he would like to buy for her too!).

At the age of seven, Sara is send to Miss Minchin's boarding school in England (as it's suggested India is not a "safe place" for young ladies). Her wealthy father instructs the school mistress that Sara should have anything she desires, including a parlor room all of her own and the finest clothes any of the other students have seen.

Far from seeming a spoilt and ungrateful child, Sara is an intelligent and empathetic young girl whose excellence in French attracts the disdain (and the beginnings of hatred) from her school mistress and several of the other students. But her benevolence helps her develop deep and lasting friendships with some of the less-liked students who love to hear her tell her stories.

On her 11th birthday, it's revealed that Sara's father has died a penniless man. Spitefully, Miss Minchin strips Sara of almost all her posessions and sends her to live in the rat-infested attic where she must obey all orders and is treated barely better than a slave.

Luckily for Sara her imagination helps her to deal with her loss and loneliness by means of mindful escape, and as the novel progresses we realise she is not doomed forever... If you don't already know the story, it is a beautiful (albeit, not unexpected) end to this Cinderella-like tale.

I'd sincerely recommend this heart-warming read to any woman, and especially to young girls who aspire to one day become a princess. Sara shows us that being a princess does not depend in the slightest on one's wealth or status, but on how we present ourselves to the world and feel about ourselves on the inside...

My copy of A Little Princess was free from Project Gutenberg and is also available for Amazon Kindle and via other sites through the Public Domain.


Details


Book reviewed: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson-Burnett
Reviewed by: Amanda Kennedy on April 29th 2011.
Rating: 4.5