Book #5 in this summer reading project is Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Sara Crewe, which I grew up knowing as A Little Princess. I thought reading this would be a good break from the more intense books I’ve been reading recently.
Sara grew up in India but has been sent to a boarding house in England. Her father is in the military and didn’t know what else to do with her, seeing as her mother had died when she was younger. Sara was the richest child at the boarding house and was regularly shown off by Miss Minchin, the lady who runs the house. One day a letter arrives to inform Miss Minchin that Sara’s father has been killed, so her grand payments will discontinue. Sara is then kept at the boarding house as a servant to earn her keep, but she lives in the attic where it is cold and lonely. The story then follows her journey as a servant and how her intense imagination helps her to get through tough times.
I didn’t particularly enjoy this story. I feel like I never made a connection with the protagonist which made everything about her life seem less real. Sara was kind to other people and always put others first if possible, but it seemed unnatural that a child that grew up getting whatever she wanted would be so quick to think of others. Not that this is a bad thing, it just didn’t seem to fit the character.
One thing I liked about this story was that Sara never let anyone label her or tell her she was worthless. She knew she had value and worth even when others around her mistreated and insulted her. To me, however, the way she went about it seemed rather arrogant- she was a very imaginative little girl,’… she would “suppose” she was a princess …’ and tell herself she was better than those who were being hurtful towards her.
Reading Sara Crewe was a good break from the other books I’ve been working my way through. It was short and easy to read, but like I said earlier, I didn’t enjoy it very much.