First, the reason why my twelve-years-old self loved this book:
Regarding her niece Lotta, a popular girl, Aunt Muriel thinks:
These are the girls . . . who sail lightly along the surface of their youth, never suspecting the existence of undercurrents, riptides, rapids. The cheer leaders, the prom and hop belles, the flirts, who look forward to the next date, the next dress, anticipate college as a more glamorous extension of high school and marriage as a state of being adored by a perfect man. (54)
Second, the reason why my significantly-older-than-twelve-years-old self loves this book:
Regarding her niece Cassie, a very UNpopular girl, Muriel thinks:
for a girl who was plain as poker, Cassie had remarkable assurance. How she had come by that assurance was equally remarkable, since she got little assistance in that line from her family. Becky and Roger loved her, of course, but could never in this world have been subtle enough to give a homely girl the humor and persuasion of a good-looking one. And having Lotta around all the time would be taxing. There must be something in Cassie herself… a throwback to a strong-minded woman in their family’s past. An abolitionist, a suffragette had handed down her spirit to this tough little descendant. (51-52)
I may have wanted to grow up to be Team Lotta, but Team Cassie is SO much cooler.