(Louisa May Alcott)
Rose seems to echo Mary Poppins self-stated description of "practically perfect in every way." The young, orphaned heiress is as humble as she is beautiful, and spends her life perfecting womanly virtues which will serve her well in later life.
As the story opens, she is living with her two elderly maiden aunts, awaiting the arrival of her future guardian, Uncle Alec, an innovative if unorthodox guardian, who will turn Rose's gloomy world to sunshine. He resolves to help the weak, depressed girl become strong and happy, filling both mind and body with whatever is wholesome and hearty.
Soon afterward, she becomes aquainted with a daunting array of male cousins, each eager to ispect this new curiosity of cousinhood. Her relationship with each helps to form and expand her little world, and to understand the bigger one which she will enter all too soon.
Archie--the steady, reliable fellow, prone to preach and to lead--ever honest and kind.
Charlie--the "prince", wayward but good-hearted, dashing, cheerful, seemingly only in need of a guiding light.
Mac--the bookworm, genius in his own right, kind in a backhanded fashion, a wholesome copy of his good uncle, only with many rough edges to be smoothed by a kind hand.
Steve--the dandy, ultra-conscious of appearance, worshipful of prince Charlie and copying him in every way, mischievous but good-natured.
Will and Geordi--a two-for-one package, 100% boys, interested in ships and soldiers or whatever sport or activity would earn them the recognition of their peers
Jamie--the "baby," sweet and adored by all, though prone to lead them all into disgrace by spilling any and all family secrets.
Rose and the boys seem to hold the key to helping each other become complete and whole, to shaping one another into the men and woman they are to become.