Pollyanna Grows Up is the second Pollyanna book, but the last one written by Eleanor Porter. It’s a servicable read, but a lot of the charm of the first book is lost in this one.
The plot is split in two parts. The first half of the book is still about young Pollyanna, not even a year after her accident and recovery in the first book. She’s sent to stay with a complete stranger in Boston while her aunt and Dr. Chilton go off to Germany for reasons. Ok, so not a complete stranger, but rather the sister of one of her nurses in the asylum where she learned to walk again. In Boston, she charms many people and cheers up her grumpy host. Fast forward 10 years-which are mostly spent gadding about Europe apparently, and Dr. Chilton is dead and Aunt Polly’s money is mostly gone so home to Vermont they return. The next half of the book speeds by as everyone gets a happy ending, EVERYONE.
I did find it amusing that although the Porter spends a good portion of her time telling her readers that Pollyanna does not preach, the book itself is very preach and practically hits you over the head with it’s theme of ‘cheerful is as cheerful does’. It’s far less subtle then the first book, and that one wasn’t particularly subtle either. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot more then the second, partly because there were actual challenges presented to Pollyanna’s view point- she saw actual poverty for example. Unfortunately a lot of that was just kind of brushed over, leaving the book with a very shallow feeling. And then when Pollyanna has to deal with a kind of poverty of her own (hardly poverty really, but being not quite as rich) it’s just brushed over and not dealt with, again leaving the novel feeling shallow.
I did enjoy the first book, Pollyanna is a fun enough novel. I’m not sad that I read this sequel, but it doesn’t hold up as well as Pollyanna does.