Nov 1, 2007

Little Women

by Lousia May Alcott

This is a heartwarming account (loosely based on the author's life) of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, growing up absent a father during the Civil War era with a strong-willed mother who teaches them to be moral and kind, independent thinkers and advocates for women's rights. Mostly it is a story of family life, squabbles between sisters, the growth of the girls' characters as they approach womanhood and marriage and Jo's aspirations to be a writer. The characterization is wonderful, the morality lessons are tastefully presented and the tragedy and triumphs of this family has touched many hearts and made this book a classic.

My only regret is that I wish I read Little Women first, instead of after viewing the 1994 film. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but it strongly colored my reading of the book. For once I found it annoying instead of admirable that the script stuck close to the original text, because as I was reading I kept picturing the scenes from the film, instead of re-creating it in my mind. It rather spoiled the reading experience for me, which is why I had to give this book 3 stars. I think I'll wait ten years and read it again, maybe I'll have forgotten most of the film by that time.

Rating: 3/5                 464 pages, 1868

Read more reviews at:
Book Chronicle


  1. hi, thanks for linking me, I linked your review as well :)

  2. Anonymous5/27/2008

    I entirely agree about the 1994 film influencing my interpretation of the book. From the physical description of the characters to the movies take on the action, I kept wanting to squeeze the two into one. Have you read anything else by Alcott? I have one of her novels, unpublished in her lifetime apparently, sitting on my shelf.

    Thanks for the link!

  3. Little Women is the only Alcott title I've ever read. I was unimpressed and didn't feel like trying more, but perhaps I ought to. It might just have been that the film overshadowed it for me.

  4. I abhor this book. I guess that is pretty strong, but it is true. I had to read in while in college, and I just couldn't stand it. Not only did I find it boring, but it was quite ridiculous.

    I grew up in a family of girls too, and we definitely didn't act like that. I think one reason it bothered me so much is because it is classified as realism. Not a chance.

    One part I remembered in particular was the day they all wanted to never work again. So, their mother let them skip their chores for the day. Within the day, they were all begging to have chores again.

    Anyway, sorry to be such a naysayer, but I really did not enjoy this book at all.

  5. oh my grandmother gave me little women to read in fourth grade. i loved it then and it's still one of my "go to" books when i am sick of the drama in current fiction. not that current fiction is bad, i love it, but sometimes i need a break :) but i did read it long before i saw the movie. i love the film, too, though, but just because they make it a feel good story.


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