Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Thoughts: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I'm in for a classic regularly and this time I decided it was finally time to read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. English being not my native language, this was not a must read of my childhood or adolescence. I'm glad I read it anyway.

Alcott introduces us to four lovely sisters with very different characters and flaws of such. There is Meg, who likes pretty things and envies the girls whose families have money. Jo is a common madcap and always wanted to be a boy. She's got some sense for writing, too. Beth and Amy are the younger children, with Beth being shy but very amiable and Amy, the nestling, always being cared for.The story describes the coming-of-age of these four young girls until finally they all are grown up women.

The story is very heavy on the moral part, every chapter is pointing out some advice on how to best get along in a given situation. I guess it had some pedagogical merit in Alcott's time. I often felt lectured. Nevertheless I fell in love with the characters and reading how they became little women was to the most entertaining.

I expected the book to finish with the homecoming of their father who served during war and was injured and sent home afterwards. I read March by Geraldine Brooks some months ago and thought that Little Women would focus on the time of his absence. It did not and as Alcott published Little Women in two parts, the second part focuses on the girls' first loves and marriages.

I cared best for the parts about Jo, who was so lively that I would like to really know her. I did hope though that she and Laurie, her best friend and neighbor, were meant to be together in the end. I though the end dragged a bit and Alcott could have come to terms faster.

4 stars for this classy piece of writing.


  1. If you wanted to read more cheese from these girls, there's three other books! The sequel is called Good Wives and there's two others called Jo's Boys and Little Men. =^.^=

    Loved the review!

  2. I agree. I love this book and it is one of my favorites but I wish Jo and Laurie had ended up together.

  3. Great review! I haven't heard of this until now but it sounds good :)

  4. I just finished March a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the tie from Little Women (Little Women is also one of my favorite books). I was definitely Team Jo and Laurie!

  5. My favorite character was Jo, too. And yes, in adulthood, I noticed the moralizing more than in my childhood...

    The chapters were arranged according to the "journey" in the book Pilgrim's Progress, which is a moralistic tale.

    I read all the sequels, too, like Little Men and Jo's Boys.