Though Louisa May Alcott is best known for her book, Little Women, she also published another delightful, heartwarming story in 1869 called An Old-Fashioned Girl. This feel-good tale encompasses the years of growing up and change, and its characters strive to become better people, learning that it is not so bad to be old-fashioned.
Polly is a modest country girl who is going to live with the Shaw family in the big city for a month. While there, she discovers a very different world from her own, where unhappy families exist, fashion trumps all, and her beliefs and values are deemed as “countrified” and “old-fashioned.” But Polly’s sunshine is not vanquished as she stands true to herself and changes the lives of Fanny, Tom, Maud, and the other members of the Shaw family.
As the years pass, the Shaws continue to learn and grow from Polly’s goodness and old-fashioned ways. But when misfortune strikes, they find themselves in a world where Polly’s teachings truly come into play. This is a wonderful book about kindness, love, and trying to become a better person.
Book Group Questions
- There are many Christian-based values displayed in this story by Polly and others. What are some of these values and how did they affect the characters.
- In the beginning of the story, the Shaw family was spoiled, and sometimes selfish, but Polly’s influence helps to change them. Why do you think this happened, and what did Polly do to create this change?
- One of Polly’s remedies for unhappiness is to help others. Why do you think this remedy worked?
- Polly and Tom seem like a most unlikely couple at first glance, but what deeper facets of their personalities helped to make them compatible for each other?
- Do you think that it is better to be old-fashioned like Polly, or to embrace new values or ideas?Book Recommendation: An Old-Fashioned Girl By Louisa May Alcott