Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
First published in America in 1868 by Roberts Brothers.
Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones
How I got this book:
Bought from a charity shop
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. So begins one of the best-loved children’s classics, Little Women. Coming of age in the North during the Civil War, the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—experience great joy and tragic loss while becoming the true little women of the title. The novel is resonant with themes of friendship, feminism, and building strong character, which are explored through the sisters’ relationships with their family, in particular their beloved Marmee, their friends, and their neighbours.'
It has probably been thirty years since I last read Little Women. I remember it being one of my favourite books as a child, along with the rest of the series, and I know I read them all several times. Returning to the book now I was first reminded of reading Black Beauty again last year because there is so much hectoring and moralising! Strangely I don't think that stood out to me as a child, probably because I was frequently told what to do and how to behave anyway, but as an adult this aspect really stood out. I was surprised by how modern Little Women is, especially in showing strong, self-sufficient women. The fact of Mother, Meg and Jo all having jobs is not seen as unusual and, while Mother obvious expects her daughters to all eventually marry, she does not push this as the sole point of their lives.
I loved the relationships between all the characters, especially the ghastly aunt, and Alcott's understanding of the girls is perfect throughout. Their acts of rebellion, bickering, exuberance and frequent guilt trips are warmly evoked and reading Little Women again did feel like returning to the family. Their incessant striving to be 'good' and games such as Pilgrim's Progress do date the work as I can't imagine teenagers behaving quite like that these days, but I think this novel has well-deserved classic status and I hope it endures for another 150 years and beyond.
Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Louisa May Alcott / Children's books / Books from America
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