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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
By: (1856-1923)

Eleven year old Rebecca Rowena Randall travels to Riverboro, Maine, to live with her spinster aunts, Jane and Miranda Sawyer. Her father has been dead for three years and her mother is unable to cope with her brood of seven growing children. Rebecca is being sent to her aunts' farm to try to improve her prospects in life and also ease the family's burden. The aunts had actually wanted her older and more placid sister, Hannah, who is more handy round the house to be sent, but Rebecca's mother sends the dreamy, more imaginative Rebecca instead.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin was published in 1903. The fictional town of Riverboro is based on Hollis, Maine, where the author herself spent her childhood. Kate Douglas Wiggin's life took a monumental turn with a chance encounter – her unexpected meeting with Charles Dickens on a train when she was 11 years old. She engaged the famous author in a lively chat that she later described in a memoir A Child's Journey with Dickens published in 1912. She began writing to supplement the family income and achieved great success with many of her books and stories. She wrote for both children and adults and some of her works included scholarly non-fiction on education and child rearing. However, she is best known for her classic children's books like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Mother Carey's Chickens and Rose o' the River. She was also a talented musician and is credited with several melodious compositions.

This book has much in common with another book written two years later, one which is equally famous and loved by children the world over – Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Though Anne's story continued over eleven more books, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was followed by just one sequel written by Wiggin, The New Chronicles of Rebecca. A distant cousin of her husband's, Eric Wiggin, wrote a few more Rebecca books in the 1990's and also updated the original.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm traces the heroine's growth and maturity from an impulsive, carefree child into a responsible, mature young woman, who is able to use her imaginative gifts wisely and profitably.

The book was adapted for the stage by the author herself in 1909 and filmed several times. The most popular film version has Shirley Temple playing Rebecca. More than a hundred years after it first came out, the book remains a firm favorite with children and adults the world over. A great addition to your collection of classic children's books!


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Reviews

Reviewer: - March 7, 2014
Subject: 06.03.2014
Some reading styles very difficult to listen to, I had to give up on chapters 29 and 30.
Reviewer: - January 26, 2014
Horrible accents in some chapters, so sad. Ruins the story.


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