Generations of readers young and old, male and female, have fallen in love with the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s most popular and enduring novel, Little Women. Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.
It is no secret that Alcott based Little Women on her own early life. While her father, the freethinking reformer and abolitionist Bronson Alcott, hobnobbed with such eminent male authors as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, Louisa supported herself and her sisters with “woman’s work,” including sewing, doing laundry, and acting as a domestic servant. But she soon discovered she could make more money writing. Little Women brought her lasting fame and fortune, and far from being the “girl’s book” her publisher requested, it explores such timeless themes as love and death, war and peace, the conflict between personal ambition and family responsibilities, and the clash of cultures between Europe and America.
I’m of two minds on this novel as I currently review this. I forgot I had read it a LONG time ago and that basically tells me everything I needed to know about this book.
It was so unremarkable that I completely forgot I read it.
Yes, I get that this novel is trying to cover the basics of coming of age in that era however I found this novel (and audiobook) to be quite slow, yes it skips years at times but I found it difficult to follow as it was not of interest, too many discussions of coming of age. Perhaps if I had read this when I was younger I would have appreciated it more. However, as a young adult in her twenties this novel did not keep my interest I am afraid.
Is it good?
Yes. Very good. Sometimes it’s even amusing and heartwarming. However, this novel is not for me. Time for some historic reads to catch my interest.