- Fair for Its Day: By 19th-century standards, the book is quite modern:
- Alec bans corsets and patent medicines, encourages Rose to get fresh air and exercise, teaches her human biology and shows her how to manage her own accounts.
- Phebe grows up to earn her own living as a choir singer (even though she does give it up to marry Archie, she freely chooses to do so and there's the fact that she finally can start building a family of her own, which is important to her what with having been an orphan) and is treated as an equal by Rose, Alec, and the boys (if not the aunts).
- Not to mention, when Kitty looks up to Rose as a Cool Big Sis, Rose notices that she's not the smartest crayon and tells her to study and improve her mind. And Kitty does.
- Ho Yay: Rose and Phebe, her maid, "enjoying each other like a pair of lovers."
- Moment of Awesome:
- When Mac finds out that Kitty's brother Alf is teasing Charlie and trying to force him to drink, his reaction is pulling a Big Damn Heroes and first knocking the drink away from Charlie, screaming at Alf to stop, then calming down and standing up for Charlie among the guys. Considering that Mac is a quiet bookworm, everyone's reaction was "OH SHI--"
- Also, Rose firmly refusing Charlie's apologies when he screws up a little too much.
- Phebe nursing Uncle Alec back to health, pretty much bringing him back from the doors of death and finally earning the approval of the aunts.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The subplot dealing with Charlie's alcoholism.
- Tear Jerker: When Alec explains to Rose why he's her guardian, telling her about The Promise he made to George right before he died.
- Also, Phebe and Archie's Star-Crossed Lovers deal and Charlie's death.
- Values Dissonance:
- Fun See, nicknamed Mr. Tokio (... UM), is described as a walking Fu Manchu cliché, and Rose herself refers to him as "a heathen Chinese".
- Not to mention the Kissing Cousins deal, where nobody bats an eyelid to the idea of Rose marrying any of her male paternal cousins. In fact, it's heavily encouraged by their aunts and uncles; Uncle Alec explicitly remarks to Uncle Mac that the boy cousins are really the only ones he thinks are suitable for her.
YMMV / Eight Cousins