Book Review: Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

I was sick throughout a lot of last winter (2019), and it was the most I could do to lie in bed and listen to audio books. I discovered Mary Anderson’s free reading Pollyanna through LibriVox, and was hooked from Chapter 1. Pollyanna Whittier is an optimistic little girl who has endured great trials in life but always manages to keep a positive attitude by playing what her father called the “Glad Game.” No matter what, she finds something to be glad about. When she is orphaned and must go to her mother’s hometown to live with a stuffy old aunt she’s never met before – who, despite her large estate, makes Pollyanna sleep in a hot attic – Pollyanna is perpetually glad.

The story is told in third-person omniscient, rotating from the maid’s point of view, to the aunt’s, and to various other characters’, as well as Pollyanna’s. One by one, sweet, young Pollyanna begins to change the lives and attitudes of every person she encounters in the town until, toward the end, when she finds herself in a bad situation, the whole town rallies behind her. This is a beautiful story about the difference one life, one child can make, and the power of innocence and positivity. I haven’t loved a classic this much since The Secret Garden, and I will treasure this story for years to come. Thanks to LibriVox for the free recording.

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