Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter

I read this book as part of both the Classic Bribe and BISHRBN Challenge.

Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter is a children’s classic which, for whatever reason, I never read as a child.  I never even saw the Disney movie so I didn’t know what to expect except that I’d heard about the novel and knew that being called a “Pollyanna” was mean to be a derogatory statement which, so far as I could see, didn’t make much sense.  Why would seeing the bright side of things be a thing worthy of derision?  I was determined to someday read the novel.

That someday obviously came and I borrowed the book and sat down to finally read it.  To be honest, it’s a sweet book, bordering on the precious, with an old-fashioned sensibility not unlike A Little Princess or Anne of Green Gables.  This is not a bad thing.  And I found it remarkable that Rob not only remembers reading this in grade school but he liked it.


Well, all contemporary cynicism aside, this story is just enchanting and, for all that it’s unrealistic and peopled with stereotypes, and that the story itself is cliche, it is still a charming story of a young girl whose ability to find something to be glad about whatever the situation touches everyone she meets.  Of course, this means that everyone is changed for the better and lives happily ever after because this is the sort of stuff Frank Kapra movies are made of.  Yes, it is all saccharine and maybe even trite but I was caught up and I am glad I finally got around to reading it.  Very glad indeed.

(On a personal note, it didn’t take me long to realize that even if I wanted to hate the novel I couldn’t because, without even knowing about Pollyanna’s game I’ve been playing it most of my life.)


  1. I think I only watched the movie in my childhood, but will be reading Pollyanna in the next few months. I'm glad it stands up to a modern, adult reading.

  2. It was definitely sweet.

    There was one moment that I found disappointing, when Pollyanna is telling someone how glad it makes her to look at pretty people and that looking at someone who is not pretty doesn't make her glad. Naturally I found this off-putting but not so much so that I didn't find it over all a sweet, albeit old-fashioned novel.


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