“Mountain-laurel and Maidenhair” is one of Louisa May Alcott’s longer short stories. It features an all-female cast, focusing on two young women, named Emily and Becky.

Emily is too fragile to do much of anything. Because of this unwanted physical idleness, her mental attitude is somewhat idle too.

Becky is the epitome of a dutiful nineteenth-century maiden, working in the kitchen, doing housework, etc., and she neither complains nor tires of it. These two opposite-natured women become friends.

In short, this is a tale of helping others and being dutiful. Although the message is a positive one, I found the story rather bland on the most part, though it has some good moments here and there.
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