Rose o' the River tells the story of Rose Wiley, the prettiest girl in her little Maine village, who is the center of a typical circle of small town admirers, dangling them all but laying most carefully the chosen suitor Stephen Waterman. They become engaged, but she has doubts about farm life, having dreams of tasting city glamour, so when a neighbor's city-dwelling nephew begins paying his attentions to her she is drawn away from Stephen. The Old Peabody Pew is a charming Christmas story of the Dorcas Society in a small Maine town. This is a society, formed from the women in the community, for the purpose of renovating their church building. Just before Christmas they are putting on the finishing touches; laying new carpet, washing the pews and mending the cushions. Susanna and Sue is the tale of Susanna Hathaway, who runs with her daughter from a bad marriage, to live in a 19th century Shaker village. Though her husband was not an abusive man, he was a shallow and thick and Susanna has had enough. She goes to live and work with Shakers and they encourage her to renounce the outside world and join their idyllic community. Shakers are portrayed as strict and eccentric religious community, their ideals are described and their virtues touted as Susanna struggles to decide her next move. Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856-1923) was an American educator and author of children's stories, most notably the classic children's novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She started the first free kindergarten in San Francisco in 1878 (the Silver Street Free Kindergarten). Kate Wiggin devoted her adult life to the welfare of children in an era when children were commonly thought of as cheap labor.
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