Monday, December 22, 2008

Little Women by Louisa My Alcott

Pages: 643
Rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis (from Wiki):

Alcott's original work explores the overcoming of character flaws (many of the chapter titles in this first part are allusions to the allegorical concepts and places in Pilgrim's Progress). When young, the girls played Pilgrim's Progress by taking an imaginary journey through their home. As young women, they agree to continue the figurative journey, using the "guidebooks" — copies of the New Testament, described as 'that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived (chapter 1, see also chapter 19) — they receive on Christmas morning. Each of the March girls must struggle to overcome a major character flaw: Meg, vanity; Jo, a hot temper; Beth, shyness; and Amy, selfishness. The girls must work out these flaws in order to become mothers, wives, sisters and citizens.

In the course of the novel, the girls become friends with their next-door neighbor, the teenage boy Laurie, who becomes a particular friend of Jo. As well as the more serious and sadder themes outlined above, the book describes the activities of the sisters and their friend, such as creating a newspaper and picnicking, and the various scrapes that Jo and Laurie (whose given name was "Theodore") get into. The story represents family relationships and explores family life thoroughly.


I would like to first off start off by saying that I read this book before about 10 years ago and remembering laying in my bed with the covers over my head crying my eyes out. That did not happen this time, maybe because I already knew what was going to happen but it was still a very moving read.

To me "Little Women" is a classic must read. It is the story of four very different sisters growing up in wartime poverty. Alcott takes the reader through the sisters life and makes it almost believable.

Why almost, because the book is a little to goody goody for my taste. Maybe it is because of the religious tilt or the fact the some of the characters just seem so one side. Some basic human emotions are lacking sometimes.

There were also times that I skipped whole paragraphs because some of the content was unnecessary and seemed to brag the story out more. But otherwise it was a very fluid read.

Another thing that I would like to point out is that some people and library classify this as a children's books. I think that it is way to complex and emotional for children. Maybe other children almost in the teens but not for a 7 year old.

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