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The novel follows the lives of four sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March - and is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her three sisters. At sixteen, Meg is the oldest sister. She is considered the beauty of the March household, and is well-mannered. Jo starts out as a tomboyish, hot-tempered, fifteen-year-old girl. Beth is even-tempered and has always been very close to Jo. Amy, the youngest sister, age twelve, is interested in art.
Published: Start Publishing LLC an imprint of NBN Books on
ISBN: 9781625586988
List price: $1.99
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Last time I read this (15 years ago), I was disappointed how this childhood favorite didn't stand up to adult reading & was bothered by the moralizing. This rereading has restored my love for this tale. The moralizing is a bit much but I have gotten better at just letting it wash over me without becoming so annoyed.more
If you have enjoyed the classic movie, you will enjoy the classic book even more. It is a must read.more
I don't often re-read books, but I had read this so very long ago (50 years) that I thought I might be interesting to read from an adult perspective. I read it beginning when I was six, because my mother so loved it. Honestly, six is a little young for it, even with a precocious kid, but I persevered and got through it.

What surprised me on re-reading it is that I had remembered every detail of the plot quite accurately, which says something about how vividly Alcott drew her characters and how memorably she plotted their adventures.

It's a very good book, but what struck me on this reading was the same thing I thought at age six: It made no sense for Jo to finally fall in love and get all gushy over a geriatric German professor. It's the only real false note in the novel, but it's a whopper. Her rejection of Laurie makes sense, but then to fall for the professor? I just don't buy it.more
Little Women is so preachy in places that it's a wonder I loved it as much as I did, when I was younger. Reading it now, the preaching is more obvious than ever -- though, I still love it. That's part nostalgia, and part Jo. She's my favourite character of them all. Her faults, her temper, is like mine, and she's a writer, and she's by far the most interesting of the girls. Meg is just irritating, to me, and likewise Amy; Beth is sweet, but we keep getting told how sweet and perfect she is, which is somewhat trying. Jo's mistakes are funny and endearing -- salt instead of sugar on berries, indeed -- and she's no saint.

Must confess, I wept a little, reading this again. Even at points which I've never cried at before. There was something about the family feeling and the way the children try so very hard that got to me extremely, this time.

One thing I don't like very much is the relationship between Meg and Brooke. I mean, it doesn't come out of nowhere, but I'm just not that invested in it and so the time spent on it bores me.

I was never that interested in reading the sequels to this. I was content in the picture of the family we get at the end -- the parents reunited, Meg and Brooke together, Beth getting better, etc, etc. So don't plague me with tales of Beth's death!more
It is tough to get into it at first, because they just seem too perfect, but the book really picks up if you just keep going. I really enjoyed it, and am very glad I finally read it. This one will be staying on my bookshelf and will be read many more times!more
I have long loved this book- it's one I don't remember reading the first time, even. I haven't read it for years, and included it almost reflexively in my comfort reading as I loaded my iPhone with Kindle books for a recent trip.

I didn't remember the huge amount of preachifying and moralizing that imbue nearly every page of this book. There were things that made me blink and bridle in plenty. There's a lot here to be appalled at. Yet there are certainly some forward-thinking parts, especially when one takes into consideration when this was written.

The constant theme of submission is grating to my modern sensibilities. That being said, I think that Alcott's genius shines through in the ways she illuminates the inner struggles of the girls who are trying to grow into good women. Who can't find something to identify with here, if not Jo's white-hot rages, then perhaps Meg's dismay at her lack of furbelows in the face of Sally's fashionable dress or Beth's simple desire to see to her mother's comfort? Who can help loving crusty old Mr. Laurence, who is only cranky because he's lost so much? Who doesn't weep for Beth?

I know there are some of you who think Jo should have married Laurie, but you are wrong. Mr. Bhaer is perfect for Jo, as becomes even more evident as the trilogy progresses.

The girls are universal, the principles of kindness and love are as valid now as they ever were. The dated parts can be taken as historical, if you are the feminist godless sort like me. This one will be read and loved by girls forever, I think.

On to Little Men, which I like even better than this one.more
Absolutely loved it and can't believe I waited so many years to get around to reading it.more
I'm not sure I can even count how many times I've read this book since first finding it on my grandmother's bookshelf. I always cried more at Jo's refusal of Laurie than at Beth's death, though. The more I know about Louisa May Alcott the more I can see in the book.more
This is one of my favorite books. To me, there is nothing better than curling up on a rainy day and reading about the trials and tribulations of the March sisters.more
I guess I'm giving it 5 stars just on sheer number of rereads. I could practically recite this.more
A classic from my childhood.
Well written and compelling. The importance of the bonds of family, friendships and relationships are themes that are still as relevant today as when Alcott first wrote her story.more

Reading this book again after an interval of some forty years was much like returning to a place known well in childhood, but not seen since. Memory distorts the landscape and the size and the shape of things contained within it. The place is both totally familiar and completely unknown at the same time.

Little Women is one of the first novels that I remember reading. I can still see the book – a red hardback with small print, the dust jacket long gone. It took me to a time and a place that was completely foreign to me. I knew nothing about 1860s Concord, Massachusetts, about the American Civil War, about what it would be like to have an absent clergyman father, about having to earn a living at a young age. Indeed, when I first read this book, all of the March sisters seemed very grown up to me. What I related to was not the specific circumstances of their lives, but being a girl, growing up, wanting something more than I had and not knowing what the future would bring. I read Little Women and its sequels several times between the ages of 9 and 14 and the experiences of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy became part of my life.

Re-reading the novel forty years on, the first thing I noticed was how very young the March girls are. The next thing I noticed was the pervasiveness of the moralising. Marmee is, of course, the chief proponent of right and proper behaviour, with every negative experience turned into a teaching moment. This was not something I noticed at all when I was a child, so the moral lessons worked either subliminally or not at all. Another thing I noticed was how time flew by, particularly in the second part of the book (that section which I knew previously as Good Wives). I also noticed the emphasis on gender roles. Even though Jo wants to be a writer and Amy an artist and both girls engage in those activities, the proper role for girls of being a good wife and a good mother is emphasised again and again. Given the period in which the novel was written this is not surprising, but it is not what I remember of the book from my childhood.

Coming back to Little Women after all of this time has reminded me what I loved about the book when as a child. It has also given me a different perspective on the novel. For example, I’ve spent forty years not liking Amy March (and thinking that Laurie made a mistake in marrying her). I don’t feel that way anymore. I used to think that Marmee was the ideal mother. Now I think that I would have been driven crazy if my mother had had a moral lesson for every occasion.

I’m very glad to have re-read this novel. I’m also glad to have done so as a buddy read with my friend Lynn. I don’t know that I would give the book four stars if it was not a childhood favourite, as there is no doubt that it is very dated. However, the fact that it has been a treasured literary experience for more than forty years keeps it firmly in four star territory.
more
Strangely, I don't remember much about reading this book the first time. My memory was faulty and I didn't remember anything after Mr. March came home from the war.

This book is much more religious than I remembered. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The time period sought morality books for children (and adults). This book delivered that in spades.

I enjoyed re-reading it. I might go and read Jo's Boys and Little Men too. I seem to be on a 19th cent kick.more
Reading through Little Women I kept wishing I'd read it as a girl. Now that I'm grown I found myself identifying with different aspects of the girls' natures. I'm definitely a Jo, and I nearly wept when Teddy married Amy because... I want a Teddy, not a Professor...

Personal preferences aside, the book completely blessed me and it also gave me a lot to think about.more
Disclaimer: I have read this book exactly once before. And now for the very unpopular opinion…I didn’t really like it. The first half of the book just bored me to tears, and while Jo’s story definitely picked up in the second half, I still had a hard time getting through the chapters. Alcott puts a lot of emphasis on the morality exhibited by the girls, which by today’s standards seem also comical, and the some of the characters are only one-dimensional and their only purpose is to exhibit goodness. I am curious to pick up Alcott’s other work, though, after giving this a reread.more
I had an earlier version by far than the edition pictured, given to me by my great aunt when I was 10. It was the great book of my childhood, the book we acted out in the dusty streets of a suburban, tract home town all one long summer, fighting over which sister was the best. And of course everyone wanted to be bold Jo, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for vain, ambitious Amy. I could never get my daughter to read it; she balked at the cozy world, the homilies, the pious little girls giving away their Christmas breakfast, the silly...to her mind...love stories.

But I love this book still. It seduced me to finding out more about the world of the Alcotts, and of New England in the Civil War period. And thus I found Thoreau (whom Louisa apparently was in love with) and Emerson, and a whole world of thought.

Which was heady stuff for a 10 year old, let me tell you. I reread Little Women every few years. I've read everything else Alcott wrote as well, from the potboiler thrillers to all the tidy romances. Maybe a grandchild of mine will like her, someday.more
My mother used to read this to me when I was little until I told her to stop. There was a lot of sheet sewing and they always seemed on the verge of doing something interesting but never actually got around to it.more
When I read this in elementary school, I found it very boring. But then, what could a child addicted to television find appealing about "playing Pilgrims"? As a grown-up homeschooling mom, I found the book delightful. I read this just after reading almost all of Jane Austen's novels and the contrast was quite refreshing. The March girls are just the kinds of heroines I want my daughter to emulate. They are real characters with real faults that they are able to overcome through sincere effort. They are brave and daring young women who are not saved by marriage, nor is making a financially advantageous match their first goal when choosing a mate. Marriage in this book is just what I hope I'm modeling for my children: a partnership based on mutual love and respect, and held together through loving compromise rather than sacrifice by one party or the other.

This book was also particularly interesting after having learned more about the intellectual and spiritual culture of New England during the second half of the 19th century.more
This classic story of one year in the lives of the March sisters of New England during the American Civil War justly holds its place of honour in American literary tradition. This is really a Young Adult novel and I’m sure that each young or older!) reader identifies with one of the sisters: the eldest, Meg who is maturing into a young women preparing for marriage; Jo, the impetuous tomboy & alter ego of the author; home-loving and painfully shy Beth; and the creative & somewhat spoiled baby, Amy; and events in the book involve all sisters in turn. Each chapter of Little Women contains a gentle moral, espousing a value such as honesty, industry or thriftiness with time and money.I found this much easier to read than other 19th century novels, perhaps because it was targeting a young audience. My edition had several charming illustrated plates by Jessie Wilcox smith.Read this if: you’d like to have a glimpse of the home-front during the American Civil War; you love a story that teaches old-fashioned morals; or you enjoy gentle old-fashioned adventures. 5 starsSuggested reading companion to Little Women: March by Geraldine Brooks which follows the activities of the girls’ father, Mr. March during his enlistment. Note: March is not a YA novel.more
I think maybe some of the value of this book is lost if one first reads it as an adult. I like it just fine, but I don't love it the way so many do, who re-read it a thousand times in childhood. Also, unlike virtually everyone else, I never liked Laurie all that much.

***

How awesome is it that my daughter can say, yesterday, that she'd like to read Little women, and when I discover we don't have a copy lying around I can download it to the Kindle and leave it there with her, as a little comfort on a sick day? It's really awesome, in case you were wondering.more
Great book with wonderful storytelling. Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy are vibrant, believable characters that are hard to forget.more
Initially, I didn't like this book because it felt rather pointless. After further reflection, it seems to me that this book is like the precursor to sitcoms; each chapter is like a new episode with new "adventures." It wasn't half bad. Not my favorite, but not too horrible.more
Little Women, first published in 1868, is an inspiring story of 4 girls and their mother during a period of time in their lives when their father is off at war. Each of the March sisters works on her own personal struggle and is guided by a copy of Pilgrim's Progress, thier mother- Marmee and supported by each other. Through the daily occurences, we witness growth in maturity, selflessness, dealing with poverty and death. Although a little slow in parts, this story gives a good insight to the time period and brings in a tone of morality not usually seen in today's novels. This book is best introduced to girls in grades 4-7; many will revisit it several times as they grow older. The version with illustrations by Prunier gives insights in the margins and many photos and drawings. Adults may enjoy this, while younger readers most probably would prefer the original story for the story's sake.more
Somehow, this book did not work for me - the March daughters were too readily faulty and the parallel with Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' was just too...righteous. The fact that Jo and Laurie are not marrying as I thought they should was way too much; the absent father comes back to check on his daughters, only to comment that they are becoming 'perfect' women (his comments about their change of character was, in my opinion, a true reflection of the concerns of the time - the denial of the 'self' to become society's ideal woman in the civil war: charitable, selfless, sacrificing all for the greater good in the absence of men, etc...). While I may have enjoyed just reading it, I felt unease at the background ideology, I am sorry to say!more
2011, Listening Library, Read by Kate Reading Somehow I missed reading this well-loved classic until now. When I spotted it recently in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (book nuts take note, the best-smelling book ever!), I went in search of an audiobook, and am delighted to have decided on this edition. Kate Reading is perfect as narrator.I found it impossible not to be completely charmed by Alcott’s narrative of idyllic family life as the March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy, come of age under the gentle but firm guidance of their mother. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, Little Women recalls a time when life was quiet and genteel, manners impeccable, morals intrinsic, and modesty fundamental. To Alcott’s credit, I found myself longing for a quieter, simpler time. That said, I was comforted (and much humoured) to know that some things have not changed at all:“Amy’s lecture did Laurie good, though, of course, he did not own it till long afterward. Men seldom do, for when women are the advisers, the lords of creation don’t take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole.” (Ch 41)A worthy and deserving read. Highly recommended!more
I think it goes without saying that Little Women is a classic. Who doesn't know the story of Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth? Okay, so female readers of all ages probably know it better than men but either way, there is no denying it's a classic! Plus, plus, plus! They made a movie out of it!So. To repeat the obvious: This is the story of the March women - Mrs. March and her four daughters. Too old to be drafted into service, Mr. March enlists to be a chaplain in the civil war. While he is away Mrs. March and her girls keep a modest house house in Concord, Massachusetts. The story centers around the four daughters and their four very different personalities. Alcott was ahead of her time when she created the character of Josephine ("Jo"). Jo is an ambitious tomboy who cuts her hair and wants to be a unmarried writer. She is referred to as male by herself (saying she is the man of the house while Father is away) and by her father (who calls her "son"). It's an interesting dynamic to the plot. The rest of the March women are as Victorian as can be. I try to refrain from seeing them as prissy. They are all very pretty and wishy-washy and have talent. As a aside, the storytelling reminded me of Anne of Green Gables.more
Read all 163 reviews

Reviews

Last time I read this (15 years ago), I was disappointed how this childhood favorite didn't stand up to adult reading & was bothered by the moralizing. This rereading has restored my love for this tale. The moralizing is a bit much but I have gotten better at just letting it wash over me without becoming so annoyed.more
If you have enjoyed the classic movie, you will enjoy the classic book even more. It is a must read.more
I don't often re-read books, but I had read this so very long ago (50 years) that I thought I might be interesting to read from an adult perspective. I read it beginning when I was six, because my mother so loved it. Honestly, six is a little young for it, even with a precocious kid, but I persevered and got through it.

What surprised me on re-reading it is that I had remembered every detail of the plot quite accurately, which says something about how vividly Alcott drew her characters and how memorably she plotted their adventures.

It's a very good book, but what struck me on this reading was the same thing I thought at age six: It made no sense for Jo to finally fall in love and get all gushy over a geriatric German professor. It's the only real false note in the novel, but it's a whopper. Her rejection of Laurie makes sense, but then to fall for the professor? I just don't buy it.more
Little Women is so preachy in places that it's a wonder I loved it as much as I did, when I was younger. Reading it now, the preaching is more obvious than ever -- though, I still love it. That's part nostalgia, and part Jo. She's my favourite character of them all. Her faults, her temper, is like mine, and she's a writer, and she's by far the most interesting of the girls. Meg is just irritating, to me, and likewise Amy; Beth is sweet, but we keep getting told how sweet and perfect she is, which is somewhat trying. Jo's mistakes are funny and endearing -- salt instead of sugar on berries, indeed -- and she's no saint.

Must confess, I wept a little, reading this again. Even at points which I've never cried at before. There was something about the family feeling and the way the children try so very hard that got to me extremely, this time.

One thing I don't like very much is the relationship between Meg and Brooke. I mean, it doesn't come out of nowhere, but I'm just not that invested in it and so the time spent on it bores me.

I was never that interested in reading the sequels to this. I was content in the picture of the family we get at the end -- the parents reunited, Meg and Brooke together, Beth getting better, etc, etc. So don't plague me with tales of Beth's death!more
It is tough to get into it at first, because they just seem too perfect, but the book really picks up if you just keep going. I really enjoyed it, and am very glad I finally read it. This one will be staying on my bookshelf and will be read many more times!more
I have long loved this book- it's one I don't remember reading the first time, even. I haven't read it for years, and included it almost reflexively in my comfort reading as I loaded my iPhone with Kindle books for a recent trip.

I didn't remember the huge amount of preachifying and moralizing that imbue nearly every page of this book. There were things that made me blink and bridle in plenty. There's a lot here to be appalled at. Yet there are certainly some forward-thinking parts, especially when one takes into consideration when this was written.

The constant theme of submission is grating to my modern sensibilities. That being said, I think that Alcott's genius shines through in the ways she illuminates the inner struggles of the girls who are trying to grow into good women. Who can't find something to identify with here, if not Jo's white-hot rages, then perhaps Meg's dismay at her lack of furbelows in the face of Sally's fashionable dress or Beth's simple desire to see to her mother's comfort? Who can help loving crusty old Mr. Laurence, who is only cranky because he's lost so much? Who doesn't weep for Beth?

I know there are some of you who think Jo should have married Laurie, but you are wrong. Mr. Bhaer is perfect for Jo, as becomes even more evident as the trilogy progresses.

The girls are universal, the principles of kindness and love are as valid now as they ever were. The dated parts can be taken as historical, if you are the feminist godless sort like me. This one will be read and loved by girls forever, I think.

On to Little Men, which I like even better than this one.more
Absolutely loved it and can't believe I waited so many years to get around to reading it.more
I'm not sure I can even count how many times I've read this book since first finding it on my grandmother's bookshelf. I always cried more at Jo's refusal of Laurie than at Beth's death, though. The more I know about Louisa May Alcott the more I can see in the book.more
This is one of my favorite books. To me, there is nothing better than curling up on a rainy day and reading about the trials and tribulations of the March sisters.more
I guess I'm giving it 5 stars just on sheer number of rereads. I could practically recite this.more
A classic from my childhood.
Well written and compelling. The importance of the bonds of family, friendships and relationships are themes that are still as relevant today as when Alcott first wrote her story.more

Reading this book again after an interval of some forty years was much like returning to a place known well in childhood, but not seen since. Memory distorts the landscape and the size and the shape of things contained within it. The place is both totally familiar and completely unknown at the same time.

Little Women is one of the first novels that I remember reading. I can still see the book – a red hardback with small print, the dust jacket long gone. It took me to a time and a place that was completely foreign to me. I knew nothing about 1860s Concord, Massachusetts, about the American Civil War, about what it would be like to have an absent clergyman father, about having to earn a living at a young age. Indeed, when I first read this book, all of the March sisters seemed very grown up to me. What I related to was not the specific circumstances of their lives, but being a girl, growing up, wanting something more than I had and not knowing what the future would bring. I read Little Women and its sequels several times between the ages of 9 and 14 and the experiences of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy became part of my life.

Re-reading the novel forty years on, the first thing I noticed was how very young the March girls are. The next thing I noticed was the pervasiveness of the moralising. Marmee is, of course, the chief proponent of right and proper behaviour, with every negative experience turned into a teaching moment. This was not something I noticed at all when I was a child, so the moral lessons worked either subliminally or not at all. Another thing I noticed was how time flew by, particularly in the second part of the book (that section which I knew previously as Good Wives). I also noticed the emphasis on gender roles. Even though Jo wants to be a writer and Amy an artist and both girls engage in those activities, the proper role for girls of being a good wife and a good mother is emphasised again and again. Given the period in which the novel was written this is not surprising, but it is not what I remember of the book from my childhood.

Coming back to Little Women after all of this time has reminded me what I loved about the book when as a child. It has also given me a different perspective on the novel. For example, I’ve spent forty years not liking Amy March (and thinking that Laurie made a mistake in marrying her). I don’t feel that way anymore. I used to think that Marmee was the ideal mother. Now I think that I would have been driven crazy if my mother had had a moral lesson for every occasion.

I’m very glad to have re-read this novel. I’m also glad to have done so as a buddy read with my friend Lynn. I don’t know that I would give the book four stars if it was not a childhood favourite, as there is no doubt that it is very dated. However, the fact that it has been a treasured literary experience for more than forty years keeps it firmly in four star territory.
more
Strangely, I don't remember much about reading this book the first time. My memory was faulty and I didn't remember anything after Mr. March came home from the war.

This book is much more religious than I remembered. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The time period sought morality books for children (and adults). This book delivered that in spades.

I enjoyed re-reading it. I might go and read Jo's Boys and Little Men too. I seem to be on a 19th cent kick.more
Reading through Little Women I kept wishing I'd read it as a girl. Now that I'm grown I found myself identifying with different aspects of the girls' natures. I'm definitely a Jo, and I nearly wept when Teddy married Amy because... I want a Teddy, not a Professor...

Personal preferences aside, the book completely blessed me and it also gave me a lot to think about.more
Disclaimer: I have read this book exactly once before. And now for the very unpopular opinion…I didn’t really like it. The first half of the book just bored me to tears, and while Jo’s story definitely picked up in the second half, I still had a hard time getting through the chapters. Alcott puts a lot of emphasis on the morality exhibited by the girls, which by today’s standards seem also comical, and the some of the characters are only one-dimensional and their only purpose is to exhibit goodness. I am curious to pick up Alcott’s other work, though, after giving this a reread.more
I had an earlier version by far than the edition pictured, given to me by my great aunt when I was 10. It was the great book of my childhood, the book we acted out in the dusty streets of a suburban, tract home town all one long summer, fighting over which sister was the best. And of course everyone wanted to be bold Jo, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for vain, ambitious Amy. I could never get my daughter to read it; she balked at the cozy world, the homilies, the pious little girls giving away their Christmas breakfast, the silly...to her mind...love stories.

But I love this book still. It seduced me to finding out more about the world of the Alcotts, and of New England in the Civil War period. And thus I found Thoreau (whom Louisa apparently was in love with) and Emerson, and a whole world of thought.

Which was heady stuff for a 10 year old, let me tell you. I reread Little Women every few years. I've read everything else Alcott wrote as well, from the potboiler thrillers to all the tidy romances. Maybe a grandchild of mine will like her, someday.more
My mother used to read this to me when I was little until I told her to stop. There was a lot of sheet sewing and they always seemed on the verge of doing something interesting but never actually got around to it.more
When I read this in elementary school, I found it very boring. But then, what could a child addicted to television find appealing about "playing Pilgrims"? As a grown-up homeschooling mom, I found the book delightful. I read this just after reading almost all of Jane Austen's novels and the contrast was quite refreshing. The March girls are just the kinds of heroines I want my daughter to emulate. They are real characters with real faults that they are able to overcome through sincere effort. They are brave and daring young women who are not saved by marriage, nor is making a financially advantageous match their first goal when choosing a mate. Marriage in this book is just what I hope I'm modeling for my children: a partnership based on mutual love and respect, and held together through loving compromise rather than sacrifice by one party or the other.

This book was also particularly interesting after having learned more about the intellectual and spiritual culture of New England during the second half of the 19th century.more
This classic story of one year in the lives of the March sisters of New England during the American Civil War justly holds its place of honour in American literary tradition. This is really a Young Adult novel and I’m sure that each young or older!) reader identifies with one of the sisters: the eldest, Meg who is maturing into a young women preparing for marriage; Jo, the impetuous tomboy & alter ego of the author; home-loving and painfully shy Beth; and the creative & somewhat spoiled baby, Amy; and events in the book involve all sisters in turn. Each chapter of Little Women contains a gentle moral, espousing a value such as honesty, industry or thriftiness with time and money.I found this much easier to read than other 19th century novels, perhaps because it was targeting a young audience. My edition had several charming illustrated plates by Jessie Wilcox smith.Read this if: you’d like to have a glimpse of the home-front during the American Civil War; you love a story that teaches old-fashioned morals; or you enjoy gentle old-fashioned adventures. 5 starsSuggested reading companion to Little Women: March by Geraldine Brooks which follows the activities of the girls’ father, Mr. March during his enlistment. Note: March is not a YA novel.more
I think maybe some of the value of this book is lost if one first reads it as an adult. I like it just fine, but I don't love it the way so many do, who re-read it a thousand times in childhood. Also, unlike virtually everyone else, I never liked Laurie all that much.

***

How awesome is it that my daughter can say, yesterday, that she'd like to read Little women, and when I discover we don't have a copy lying around I can download it to the Kindle and leave it there with her, as a little comfort on a sick day? It's really awesome, in case you were wondering.more
Great book with wonderful storytelling. Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy are vibrant, believable characters that are hard to forget.more
Initially, I didn't like this book because it felt rather pointless. After further reflection, it seems to me that this book is like the precursor to sitcoms; each chapter is like a new episode with new "adventures." It wasn't half bad. Not my favorite, but not too horrible.more
Little Women, first published in 1868, is an inspiring story of 4 girls and their mother during a period of time in their lives when their father is off at war. Each of the March sisters works on her own personal struggle and is guided by a copy of Pilgrim's Progress, thier mother- Marmee and supported by each other. Through the daily occurences, we witness growth in maturity, selflessness, dealing with poverty and death. Although a little slow in parts, this story gives a good insight to the time period and brings in a tone of morality not usually seen in today's novels. This book is best introduced to girls in grades 4-7; many will revisit it several times as they grow older. The version with illustrations by Prunier gives insights in the margins and many photos and drawings. Adults may enjoy this, while younger readers most probably would prefer the original story for the story's sake.more
Somehow, this book did not work for me - the March daughters were too readily faulty and the parallel with Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' was just too...righteous. The fact that Jo and Laurie are not marrying as I thought they should was way too much; the absent father comes back to check on his daughters, only to comment that they are becoming 'perfect' women (his comments about their change of character was, in my opinion, a true reflection of the concerns of the time - the denial of the 'self' to become society's ideal woman in the civil war: charitable, selfless, sacrificing all for the greater good in the absence of men, etc...). While I may have enjoyed just reading it, I felt unease at the background ideology, I am sorry to say!more
2011, Listening Library, Read by Kate Reading Somehow I missed reading this well-loved classic until now. When I spotted it recently in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (book nuts take note, the best-smelling book ever!), I went in search of an audiobook, and am delighted to have decided on this edition. Kate Reading is perfect as narrator.I found it impossible not to be completely charmed by Alcott’s narrative of idyllic family life as the March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy, come of age under the gentle but firm guidance of their mother. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, Little Women recalls a time when life was quiet and genteel, manners impeccable, morals intrinsic, and modesty fundamental. To Alcott’s credit, I found myself longing for a quieter, simpler time. That said, I was comforted (and much humoured) to know that some things have not changed at all:“Amy’s lecture did Laurie good, though, of course, he did not own it till long afterward. Men seldom do, for when women are the advisers, the lords of creation don’t take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole.” (Ch 41)A worthy and deserving read. Highly recommended!more
I think it goes without saying that Little Women is a classic. Who doesn't know the story of Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth? Okay, so female readers of all ages probably know it better than men but either way, there is no denying it's a classic! Plus, plus, plus! They made a movie out of it!So. To repeat the obvious: This is the story of the March women - Mrs. March and her four daughters. Too old to be drafted into service, Mr. March enlists to be a chaplain in the civil war. While he is away Mrs. March and her girls keep a modest house house in Concord, Massachusetts. The story centers around the four daughters and their four very different personalities. Alcott was ahead of her time when she created the character of Josephine ("Jo"). Jo is an ambitious tomboy who cuts her hair and wants to be a unmarried writer. She is referred to as male by herself (saying she is the man of the house while Father is away) and by her father (who calls her "son"). It's an interesting dynamic to the plot. The rest of the March women are as Victorian as can be. I try to refrain from seeing them as prissy. They are all very pretty and wishy-washy and have talent. As a aside, the storytelling reminded me of Anne of Green Gables.more
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