I loved, loved, loved the American Girl books. Loved. Was obsessed with. I never had any of the dolls, but just perusing the catalog was almost as good.
When I started receiving what was then called the Pleasant Company catalog – that tells you how old I am – there were just three girls, and now the empire has expanded, with new characters and retired characters and a new generation of feverish obsession.
It was great to read this story in The New Yorker and have great memories flood back.
And as for the title of this post, I was most definitely Samantha. I loved her and Molly almost equally, but the fact that Samantha got to curtsy to her grandmother (who was called Grandmary, which I thought was just so exotic) propelled her to favorite status. I was never a Kirsten girl. Live on a farm? Have your best friend die of cholera? No thanks, thought 10-year-old me. (Did love her braided hairstyle, though.)