Little Lord Fauntleroy – Frances Hodgson Burnett

I love The Secret Garden and A Little Princess.  LOVE THEM.  I wasn’t really attracted to the idea of Little Lord Fauntleroy, but I decided to give the book a go, seeing as how I LOVE the other two works I’ve read by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  So I bought it, and read it.

I was surprised by how quick I went through this book.  It was a much faster read than either of the other two stories I’ve read by Burnett, and I finished it much more quickly than I had supposed I would.  In fact, I actually think the story could have gone on for longer (which is something I rarely say!)  It’s a good story, but the book follows a weird pacing…nothing happens for the first two-thirds of the book, and then in the last third, the major plot twist is revealed, foreshadowing clues are brought it, the big reveal is announced, and everything is settled into a happy ending.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First, the plot.  Cedric Errol is a fine young lad living in America with his loving mother.  His father, who was English and from a wealthy family, was disowned by his own father for marrying an American with no money.  This son has died, and now the Earl or Dorincourt (a.k.a. Cedric’s grandfather) is all alone (because his other two sons have died, too).  Which means that little Cedric is actually a Lord, and has to move to England to be with his cruel and unloving grandfather.

Cedric is a wonderful child, and Burnett has this remarkable talent for writing characters who should be so perfect that you hate them, and yet you love them all the same.  Sarah from A Little Princess was like that for me, and so was Cedric.  They are pretty much flawless characters, but I couldn’t help but love them!  However, I do have to say that in this book, I felt like I was being hit over the head with Cedric’s wonderfulness.  Yes, I liked him.  Yes, I understood that everyone else liked him, too.  But after pages and pages and pages and pages and (you guessed it!) pages, I had long since got the point and was ready to move on!

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed the other two Burnett novels I have read.  I thought the ending was rushed, the beginning too slow, and the constant reminders of how perfect Cedric is too annoying.  But I did like it.  Cedric is cute, and charming, and he brings about the best in everyone.  This is a light little tale about good times and happy endings, so it’s definitely worth a read, especially if you liked something like A Little Princess, or just want to read something nice and cheerful!

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