Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
After reading March I got a hankering to read Little Women again and since I was able to get it for free on my kindle, I did. The book tells the story of the four March daughters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) and all the adventures they have and lessons they learn.
The book is split into two parts. In the first part their father has just recently left to go to war and the girls are fairly young (I want to say that the oldest is 14 at this point? I might be wrong, sorry I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to go look it up). The first part of the book is mostly focused on the girls learning particular lessons. In each chapter someone goes through something that they learn from. I din’t remember this from when I read this book in the past and I did feel a bit preached at but it was just done in such a polite way that I didn’t find it annoying.
In the second part of the book we have skipped forward in time a few years and the girls are all older. This part of the book is much more ‘adult’ and focuses less on them learning lessons each chapter and more on them figuring out who to marry. Although the first part ends with one of them married, we read about her hardships as a married woman as well as each of the other girls’s adventures in love. Also in this part the third wall is broken more often with the author commenting about how it is true that stories with morals don’t sell anymore etc.
While reading this I was struck by how old this book really is. Fortunately it’s not Jane Austen kind of old (not that I have anything against Austen, it’s just sometimes hard to read) and is a rather easy read. However it is definitely trying to promote Christian values. The father is even a minister (although the family never seems to go to church?). At one point in the book one of the daughters is introduced to new ways on thinking about the world which do not need God but then she is brought back to earth by some other argument. I have to say that I personally wished these arguments had actually been explained in the book rather than just mentioned but I realize that they were not actually relevant and also would have made the book way too preachy and philosophical.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. At times it got a bit slow and preachy or predictable (but maybe that was because I had read it before) but it also was just such a comfortable safe read. I didn’t have to worry about feeling guilty for reading something. It just felt very wholesome and took me back to my childhood which was nice. I wholly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it as long as you take it with a grain of salt and remember that at this time women couldn’t really do much.
If you do a little research on Louisa May Alcott I think you will find that she was a super fascinating woman.
#23 of 2017
Also for the sake of something (sentimentality perhaps?) this is the cover I actually recognize: