Friday, August 21, 2009

Retro Friday Review: Little Women

Today is Friday and you know what that means! Retro Friday Review. For this review I chose Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I will be thirty this month and if you can believe it, this is the first time I have read this classic novel. This book is a classic for a reason and is full of little gems, usually uttered by Marmee, that make one stop and think. I feel like I could use Marmee as a model for being a good mother. The four sisters in this book really came to life for me and each became as tender to me as my own two sisters. I thought my heart should break when Beth died and I wanted to shake Jo for turning down Laurie. Really now, what was she thinking? Reading this novel made me feel wistful for times past and almost has me turning over a new leaf to only read classics, but since the follow-up to Hunger Games is coming out and since the glowing review Kathy gave Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side I won't be turning over any leaves anytime soon. I would recommend reading Little Women when you are feeling like the world is going to heck and hand-basket and when you want to be studious. It isn't glamorous or particularly exciting but reading it left me better than when I started and you can't ask more than that.

On a sidenote: never read the afterword in the back of Classics written by people who think they are smarter than they really are. I read the afterword of Little Women and it just depressed me. For that reason I won't share any of the things I learned about Louisa and how she felt about Little Women. I will however copy a Good Reads review of Little Women, written by Dottie, who I think hits the nail on the head.

"My copy of this is probably 55 years old -- I've probably read it at least twenty-five times. One of my all-time favorite books. One of my favorite authors ever. Yes, it is old-fashioned -- it was old-fashioned fifty-five years ago. But that is the point pretty much in my opinion. This is a story of times past, of a family which functioned in a particular way in a particular time. This is also a story of what one person in a family might have wished were so all of the time in the family but wasn't. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Only 156 pages in and I'm as thoroughly hooked as always. Something peaceful about this story, speaks to me in a very profound manner. A bit of treacle is apparent but the story's truths are also as apparent as ever."

*reviewd by Jessica

Other Retro Friday Reviews:


  1. Seriously, it still blows my mind that Jo would turn down Laurie. If I ever have girls, I think this book will be my go-to parenting guide - to heck with old-fashioned! Thanks!

  2. I am still amazed I managed to grow up without reading this book. *facepalm* I've got to rectify that at some point before my little girl gets any older!

  3. Little Women is one of my favorite books. I could it read over and over again. I agree with michelle that it is a wonderful parenting guide. I love Laurie, but I do feel that Alcott did a good job of convincing me that Amy was better for Laurie and Little Men makes me feel that Prof. Baer is absolutely perfect for Jo and I even fall in love with him a little.

  4. Okay, I guess I really need to buckle down and read this book. I bought a copy ages ago and its been in my TBR pile for way too long.


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