'Under the Lilacs' is, like 'Little Women, a sweet, simple tale in the true Alcott style. It begins very prettily with a portrait of childhood and its pleasures, and ends in a similar vein with all the sweetness and light possible. The story itself is not very substantial or startling, but well worth reading for Alcott fans. The book itself is an easy read; Alcott is slightly didactic, but not enough to interfere with the story; some of the characters are unnaturally good, but that is only to be expected. The book chiefly concerns a young boy who has run away from the circus, an old theme given a new aspect by the author. His adventures and those of his playmates form the substance of the book. I found the first chapter lovely, but the book palled a bit after that; after reading 'Rose in Bloom' especially it was something of a disappointment. The book certainly isn't a work of genius, but Alcott fans will like it even if only as a work presenting another view of the author's skill.