Back in 2012, I read Louisa May Alcott’s most famous work Little Women, which I found to be an utterly charming and inspiring read – in fact it is still one of my favourite reads for The Classics Club. So I was thrilled when last year (2016) I got my hands on a copy of Flower Fables. Originally this collection of Alcott’s lesser known works was published in 1898 and they were brought back together, with thirty-four beautiful illustrations, in this 2015 edition.
I actually picked up this collection of nine magical tales during the Christmas holidays – hoping they would fit into those short moments of quietness between the general craziness of the festive period, which they did perfectly! Each tale takes the reader into a wild and imaginative world full of adventure, magic, nature, fairies, elves, and talking flowers and animals. Where kind fairies tend the flowers and animals; wayward children and naughty fairies learn important lessons; and great adventures are had by all.
There is an innocent and whimsical feel to these tales, but also a strong element of moralising that I realise will not to be everyone’s taste. Apparently this collection grew out of Alcott’s experience of telling stories to the children of her neighbours in Concord, Connecticut. In hindsight, knowing this I can understand and accept the moralising which is on the commendable themes of love, kindness, and responsibility; plus it was much milder than the heavy moralising in The Water Babies which was even a bit too much for me.
Overall I found Flower Fables to be a quick, easy escapist read. Sadly I didn’t love it anywhere near as much as Little Women – I think a big part of that was the lack of main characters to follow – however this was still an enjoyable read. Now I really must try Alcott’s more well known sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys. Good read.
Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read this? Or any of Alcott’s other works?